Three players from Sounders Academy and S2 – striker Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, attacking midfielder Danny Robles and winger Alex Villanueva – have been named to the 24-player roster for the upcoming Nike Friendlies by Acting Head Coach Shaun Tsakiris. The young Yanks will square off against their counterparts from Portugal, Turkey and Brazil at the Premier Sports Campus in Saratoga, Fla., as the rest of the Sounders Academy players compete at the DA Winter Showcase, which is located at the same venue.
Along with the LA Galaxy, the Sounders are the most-represented club on the roster.
“The Nike Friendlies is a very good event,” said Sounders FC Director of Player Development and Academy Director Marc Nicholls. “It’s great because our players and staff are able to watch the events as part of the Winter Showcase, and you get to see some of the brightest young prospects in the world. Of course, it’s great when you have three of your own selected for the national team squad.”
Ocampo-Chavez, who signed with S2 during the 2018 USL season, is the second-most capped player in the group, with five goals from 12 total appearances for the U.S. U-17s. A mobile and clever forward with tremendous balance, the Sounders Academy prospect has nine goals and one assist from six appearances for the U-17s and U-19s in the 2018-19 USSDA season.
Another S2-signed prospect and integral component of the U-17s’ 2017-18 USSDA national championship, Robles earned his call-up after a string of impressive showings for the Stars and Stripes at tournaments in Mexico and England. The Pac NW alum was a staple of the 2002 USYNT group at the U-15 level, working his way back into the pool with his stellar performances at club level. In just nine appearances with the U-19s this season, Robles has one goal and seven assists.
“Danny Robles absolutely deserves this call-up,” said U-19 Head Coach Mike Morris. “His ability to receive the ball under pressure, work and defend for the team, and his maturity and emotional leadership are qualities of high level players.
“Alfonso is such a high-quality player who provides a massive threat up top and can open up space for other players with his timing and movement in behind. He just makes everyone on the field better because he either opens up space for the midfielders underneath, or he’s provided dangerous opportunities to play in behind.”
Robles in his S2 debut, a 4-4 comeback draw against the Tulsa Roughnecks | Charis Wilson
In his first year in the Sounders youth system, Villanueva has also earned his first call-up to a U.S. Youth National Team. After spending some time with the Real Salt Lake academy, the tricky winger joined the Rave Green ranks ahead of the 2018-19 season. Through 555 minutes of action with the U-17s, Villanuevva has registered one goal and two assists.
All three matches will be live-streamed on ussoccer.com, Facebook and Youtube. You can find more information on the Nike Friendlies, as well as the full schedule, here.