November Youth Update

DeAndre Yedlin plays for the Sounders U23s in the PDL playoffs - Chris Coulter (soundersphotos.com)

The Sounders stay alive in the NCAA tournament, romp through the California Academies, and help the US punish the perfidious Canadians.

Because there's only one Sounder on Campus still playing (more on that in a bit), I'm going to sweep the regular Campus update into a larger post about the general Sounders-related youth soccer goings on, including the Academy teams and US youth international teams.

Zips Advance, Deacons and Huskies Not So Much

After a close first round home win over Air Force, the Washington Huskies advanced to an away match against 12th seed Creighton, the previous coaching stop for Jamie Clark (no relation). Creighton was the 8th ranked team in the country in the coaches' poll and they played like it, pulling away from the Huskies in the second half and finishing with a 4-2 home victory. That ends a promising season for Freshman starter Michael Gallagher, frequent sub Ian Lange, and reserve players Drew White and Ryan Herman.

Wake Forest earned a 15th seed and a bye and in the second round faced Coastal Carolina, who was actually ranked ahead of Wake by the coaches despite not being seeded for the tournament. Maybe they knew something the RPI didn't, because Carolina came back from a 1 goal deficit to tie the game and then win it in overtime, ending the season for Wake and leading scorer Sean Okoli, who finishes his Sophomore season with 11 goals and 3 assists.

That leaves only Akron and right back DeAndre Yedlin. They were seeded 5th, which came as a bit of a shock given that they were ranked #1 by the coaches and had a #2 RPI. That may have added a little extra motivation as they beat Michigan 2-1 in a match that wasn't nearly as close as the score. Now they advance to face the Creighton team that eliminated Washington. That match is at 1:30 on Sunday.

Academy Teams School California

This season's edition of the Academy teams are not playing in many low-scoring games. Last weekend they took a road trip to California and the goals were flying in. On Saturday the U18s beat division leaders San Jose (who I can't help but imagine had a small Lenhart running around elbowing people and diving) by 5-4 in a back and forth game. Then on Sunday they steamrolled winless Cal Odyssey 7-2. That leaves them in second in the division well behind San Jose after a slow start to the season.

The U16s drew 1-1 with San Jose thanks to an 80th minute equalizer then beat Cal Odyssey 2-0 and are now also second in the Northwest division behind De Anza Force.

Now the teams are off until December 1, when they and most of the rest of the Academy teams across the country descend on Florida for the Academy Winter Showcase where they'll play a few matches in front of college scouts and rub elbows with some youth national teams.

Young Yanks

Speaking of youth national teams, Jalen Markey — fresh off of scoring against San Jose for the U18s — was called into a one week camp for the US U18 national team, which culminates in a couple of matches against Canada. He didn't make an appearance in the first match on Wednesday, so is likely to get some time on Friday in the second (which kicks off at 3pm).

Sounder Paul Christensen remains the #1 keeper for the U17 national team and this week they also took on the dastardly Canadians. Christensen was in goal for the whole match on Sunday as the US came back with 2 goals in the second half to win 2-1. Now the U17s head to Florida for the Nike Intenrational Friendlies, which coincide with the Winter Showcase, so he'll have a chance to hang out with his Sounder teammates. Their first match there will be next Wednesday at 2 when they face Brazil, presumably with Christensen in net.

At the much younger age group, there are some local players who are not Sounders representing their country. The U14 national team is holding a training camp in Carson, California and includes two Washington defenders — Renton's Khai Brisco and Olympia's Bekele Dowty. This is a team that's getting a lot of attention thanks to the inclusion of 12-year-old Ben Lederman, the first American ever invited to Barcelona's La Masia Academy. It'll be interesting to see if the Sounders make overtures to the two Washington players to bring them into the Pre-Academy.

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