Seattle Sounders Academy standouts Austin Brummett and Angel Martinez are in Gradisca, Italy, with the United States U-15 national team for the Torneo Delle Nazioni, running from April 23 to May 5.
An annual tournament that draws some of the top youth national teams from around the world, the Torneo Delle Nazioni has been a platform for breakout performances for past Sounders Academy players, like Tacoma Defiance forward Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez and Sounders FC midfielder Danny Leyva.
“It’s great that both Austin and Angel will get this experience,” said Sounders FC Director of Player Development and Academy Director Marc Nicholls. “They’ve earned it. Austin is coming off his USL debut on Saturday and Angel is playing up an age group with the national team.”
The young Sounders will face against Slovenia, India and Mexico in the group stage, while the rest of the field includes elite youth programs like England, Portugal, Italy, Turkey and Japan.
Brummett, a 2004 from New Hampshire who is enrolled in the Homestay Program, has 14 goals and four assists across 22 appearances for the U-15s and U-17s this season. On Saturday, the 15-year-old forward, who can also play out wide or as a No. 10, came on as a substitute for the Tacoma Defiance in their road match against Phoenix Rising, making him the youngest player to ever appear in a USL Championship game.
“Danny Leyva scored the winner against Italy at last year’s event and Alfonso helped the team win the tournament with big goals the year before,” said Nicholls. “From Austin’s perspective, he’ll go there and expect to score goals, which is what he does best. He knows the other Sounders boys have done this in the past.”
An intelligent defender and excellent passer, Martinez has quickly risen through the ranks in Sounders Academy. One of the standouts in the U-14 Sounders Discovery Program pool, the Washington Premier alum was promoted full time to the U-15s for the 2017-18 USSDA season.
Martinez, a 2005 who can play at center back or defensive midfield, has played 11 matches for the U-15s and 11 for the U-17s. At just 14, he’s already amassed a wealth of experience against international opponents, winning the 2018 Youdan Trophy and helping the SDP U-14s to the quarterfinals of the 2018 ICC Future’s Tournament.
Martinez playing for Sounders Academy at Starfire in a match against Sacramento Republic | Quinn Width
Regularly playing three years up in the Academy has helped him break into the older national team, much like Leyva with the U-17s, as this is the second time he’s played up an age group for his country.
“This is Angel’s first international trip with the national team, so it will be a great experience for him,” added Nicholls. “When you have top talent, it’s undeniable and they need to be pushed. I think it’s a compliment to [Martinez and Leyva] and the club that we have a couple of players playing up an age group with the national team.”
You can find more information on the event here.