The PDL and W-League seasons enter the home stretch in July and the Sounders are racing for playoff position in both. In the Academy, one of the teams already made the playoffs and completed their group games last week. Read on for details.
soundermom has the details in the game recaps, but the summary is that the Sounders Women bid adieu for the season to their national team contingent with a big home win over Santa Clara, then split two games on a road trip to Colorado. The Pali Blues continue to motor on at a ridiculous place at the top of the West (they have yet to lose), so Seattle is probably fighting for second place in the West, which is good for a playoff position. Winning at the Colorado Force was a big step, since they're the biggest contenders for that second spot.
The final home match of the season is on Friday night, hosting division bottom-feeders Victoria Highlanders. Then three games on the road will finish out the regular season by mid-July.
The Northwest Division continues to be a ferocious race, with only 4 points separating the Sounders, Timbers, Crossfire, and Kitsap Pumas at the top. The playoff format involves the top 4 Northwest teams facing off in a mini-tournament, so this is likely to be the group. The Whitecaps have a very thin chance to muscle into that top 4 group as only Kitsap has technically locked up a spot, but the Sounders are only 2 points behind. If this is the group, they're playing for home field advantage in that playoff.
The next match is at Kitsap on Friday, followed by two home games against the bottom two teams in the division, which should put them in a good position to leap to the top of the division with good performances. The scoring leader on the team is Akron's Aodhan Quinn, who I'll randomly speculate was attracted to the team by Zips teammate and Sounders Academy product DeAndre Yedlin.
The U16s completed their group play in the first round of Academy playoffs. Next story! Oh wait, I should give details. They lost all 3 group matches in a disappointing postseason after the U16s made Finals Week last season. The U18s were also in play at the Showcase as a non-playoff team, and they went undefeated with two big wins and a draw.
With the Academy season over, a big chunk of the U18 team is now moving on to the college game, where we'll continue to keep track of their progress.
Sounders U16 goalkeeper Paul Christensen continues to train and play with the US U17 team, most recently in the Copa Saprissa in Costa Rica, where he alternated starts with Red Bulls Academy keeper Evan Louro as the US played 7 matches in just over a week. The US lost only two matches during the tournament, both to Mexico — once in their group match and once in the tournament final. Christensen started in the final and in the semifinal, which involved a PK shootout win over a Chilean university team.