After a long break for the spring high school soccer season in Washington that allowed the California teams to pick up some ground in the Academy league standings, the Sounders returned to action this weekend and got right back to winning.
Here's a good summary from the official site. It includes tidbits like this:
In the sixth minute, Okoli scored off an assist from Aaron Kovar for the early 1-0 lead. In the 11th minute, Okoli set up Cox and later added an assist on a Darwin Jones goal in the 22nd minute before scoring unassisted in the 29th minute. Jones also scored an unassisted goal in the 15th minute.
Yeah, that's 5 goals in the first 30 minutes. That was the U-18 match versus the Santa Cruz Breakers on Saturday and the rest of the weekend went mostly like that. The U-16s also beat the Breakers comfortably and then the U-18s won 6-1 on Sunday. The only stumble was the U-16 loss to the second place De Anza Force on Sunday afternoon.
Now that we've proven the long break shouldn't have any negative effect on the teams, both Sounders squads are in good position to make the playoffs. The U-18s are in first place in the division with a 3 point lead and a game in hand over Cal Odyssey, who have only 2 matches left to make up ground. CDA is a point back of Odyssey, also with a game in hand. The division will be decided head to head as the Sounders play both Cal Odyssey and CDA in the coming weeks. And it may be fierce local rivals Crossfire who send the Sounders through as they also play both teams. Regardless the Sounders are in strong position for a wild card spot even if they don't win the division, as their 2.09 points per game would make them the second wild card (out of 12) today.
The U-16s are also leading the division despite Sunday's loss. They're tied on points with the De Anza Force at 17, but with 2 games in hand on the California team. This is a more open division than the seniors have, as 5 teams are still technically in the running to win the division, including Crossfire. But the U-16s should also comfortably be in a wild card spot regardless, as their 2.23 pts per game would make them the top wildcard.
Both teams play 2 more matches each this coming weekend, and then the final regular season games are schedule for June 18, after which we'll know their playoff fates and may start to see more Academy players in the Reserve League games.