Ike Crook versus the Portland Timbers Academy - Chris Coulter (soundersphotos.com)
The Academies go undefeated over the weekend, a Sounder represents the US in South America, and a bit of Darwin Jones news.
The Sounders U18 team relied on a couple of Crooks to steal a point from San Juan Soccer Club last weekend on a single game road trip to California. Ike Crook scored in the 6th minute and Cody Crook (cousins, apparently) scored in the 68th to secure the draw. Crook the Ike leads the team with 4 goals.
The away draw was a fine result but it was the 4th draw in 6 games this season and the U18s sit in 4th in the division and have played more games than most of the teams around them. The problem mainly seems to be in defense, as they've allowed 2 goals a game on average, compared to less than a goal a game allowed for league leaders San Jose and local rivals Crossfire.
The U16s beat San Juan 3-1 for their 3rd consecutive win and are now third in the division. The scoring leader for the team is Denis Kalamar, who has 6 goals in 6 games. At 6'0" at age 16, we can safely project him as a target man.
The next Academy matches are at home Nov 3 against the Whitecaps.
Christensen with U17s
The U17 national team is on a tour of South America with two friendlies and participation in a 4 team tournament with Chile, Argentina, and Panama. Sounders Academy keeper Paul Christensen remains the number one keeper for the team and he was in net as they beat Uruguay 3-1 in a friendly on Sunday. The final US goal was scored by Timbers Academy forward Rubio Rubin.
Jones training with the first team
Darwin Jones collegiate career was left in limbo when he was denied a transfer to the UW after playing a year (and dominating) at Highline Community College. But during a chat with Joshua Mayers of the Seattle Times, new keeper Marcus Hahnemann had this to say:
From what you've seen, has the league has changed a lot?
Oh definitely. It's gotten way better. All you have to do is come out and watch training; you'll see how deep our team is. ... (Academy product Darwin Jones) is just trying to get a spot on our team and he'd be pushing for a starting spot back then. I think he's a really good young kid. It's great to see him out there because he's good, and he's going to get better everyday, and hopefully soon we can sign him and give him a deal.
With the season nearly over it sounds like Seattle is considering making an offseason signing of Jones, which would make him our first Home Grown player.