Sota Kitahara no Xbox 2019-02-26
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Trio of Sounders Academy standouts called up to U.S. U-16 Men's National Team for domestic camp

Three Sounders Academy recently completed a stint at the United States U-16 Men’s National Team Talent Identification training camp, which ran from September 19-23. Former Sounders Academy Head of Recruitment Henry Brauner, who now serves a Talent Identification Manager for U.S. Soccer, was a member of the technical staff.

Sounders U-17 defender Eric Kinzner, a left-footed ball-playing center back, has been a fixture of the U.S. U-16 MNT, earning five call-ups since the start of the new cycle in 2018. The Federal Way native traveled to the Czech Republic with the Stars & Stripes back in May, where he competed against Venezuela, Hungary and the Czech national team.

Kitahara, 16, has risen quickly through the ranks in the Sounders youth system in recent years. A member of Sounders Discovery Program, he was promoted to the U-15 squad full-time two seasons ago. Blending defensive instincts with technical acuity, the Seattle United alum can line up either in central midfield or at outside back.

Kitahara made his professional debut with the Tacoma Defiance on September 17, playing 90 minutes against the Real Monarchs as he posted one tackle and one interception.

Lastly, U-17 midfielder Edgar Serrano earned his first-ever call-up to USMNT training camp. The Northwest United alum is a cerebral central midfielder with an excellent range of passing.

The trio of call-ups is just the latest achievement of the club’s revamped player development infrastructure. All three players spent time in the Sounders Discovery Program before joining the Academy full-time, while Serrano and Kitahara came from Partner Clubs.

You can find more information on the camp here.