April is a home month for the Sounders Academy. The team release has the data from the 3-0-1 weekend, but there are some notable things that happened on Saturday when I was able to watch. First the team notes.
The Sounders FC Academy squads continued their successful 2012-13 campaigns with an unbeaten (3-0-1) home series with San Juan Soccer Club and Real Salt Lake. The U18's exploded for six goals in a 6-1 win over San Juan before drawing Sunday against RSL, while the U16's picked up two wins, giving them four straight.
U18 leading goal-scorer Jordan Morris scored three goals and an assist over the weekend, including a brace on Saturday against San Juan. The Stanford-commit now has 21 goals and 12 assists on the season. The U18's have just one loss (7-2-1) in their past 10 games and have outscored their opponents 31-9 in that span. The U16's saw four different goal scorers as they won 2-1 and 2-0 over San Juan and RSL, respectively, extending a strong run of form in which they have lost just once (8-1-3) in their past 12 games. Both teams are second in the USSDA Northwest Division.
Sounders FC U18 (USSDA) (12-4-6, 42 points)
Sounders FC vs. San Juan SC (April 6) - W, 6-1
SOUNDERS FC GOALS (ASSISTS): Jordan Morris, Jordan Morris (Ike Crook), David Olsen (Jordan Morris), Jason McGlothern (David Olsen), Jason McGlothern, Kenny Sweet
Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake (April 7) - D, 2-2
SOUNDERS FC GOALS (ASSISTS): Jordan Morris, Henry Wingo (Ike Crook)
Sounders FC U16 (USSDA) (13-3-6, 45 points)
Sounders FC vs. San Juan SC (April 6) - W, 2-1
SOUNDERS FC GOALS (ASSISTS): Abdi Abdullah, Sean Bowman
Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake (April 7) - W, 2-0
SOUNDERS FC GOALS (ASSISTS): Marcus Machado, Jose Ramos
Paul Christensen returned to the Seattle Sounders after spending a year and a half with the US U17s. He did not make the cut for the U17 World Cup Qualifiers. On Saturday he played up with the Sounders U18s. Most players on that Youth National Team bubble tend to play up an age bracket, but with Adkisson playing well this year it will be a tough contest for playing time.
Gustav Brandt played for the Academy. This is notable because last year he was with Malmo. He played a free roaming attacking mid when he came on as a sub. It will be intriguing to see how this story develops.
Jordan Morris is as good an attacking player as this young system has seen. He only played a half on Saturday and still tallied two goals and an assist. Using speed, size, quickness and great vision he put up those numbers in ways that fit several styles of play. Currently one of only three U18 players throughout the USSDA with 20 or more goals the Stanford commit is doing what every forward wants to do. His transition to college will be a challenge, but he adapted rapidly from club/high school to the Academy. There are signs that his next step will go just fine.
1: 23 Pappacena, Nicholas - Weston FC U-17/18 (19)
2: 21 Huitema, Brody - Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-17/18 (19)
3: 20 Morris, Jordan - Seattle Sounders FC U-17/18 (21)
4: 18 Navarro, Jose - Real Salt Lake AZ U-17/18 (18)
5: 16 Essa, Yassin - Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-17/18 (21)
6: 15 Ainscough, Alex - FC Bolts Celtic U-17/18 (18)
7: 15 Romero, Jason - De Anza Force U-17/18 (18)
8: 15 Godoy, Giovanni - Santa Cruz Breakers Academy U-17/18 (24)
9: 15 Salcedo Borrego, Paul - Strikers FC U-17/18 (21)
10: 15 Amankwa, Yaw - Baltimore Bays Chelsea U-17/18 (17)
* per USSDA site
Two pre-Academy players took the pitch at the end of the U18 blowout. This was done so that the U16s could get more work together.
There are fewer notes on the U16s. Having seen a lot less of them it is harder to know who is who. It is also much more difficult to project talent that is 3 or more years out from a pro deal. There will be some physical development still that could change a player's likelihood of making a career.
Abdi Abdullah stood out though. Though slight of build his long passes are powerful and accurate. He slips into spaces in a surprising manner and is willing to tussle with larger bodies.
Denis Kalamar is still injured. But he's also still on the leaderboard for U16 forwards. Seattle would have another scoring threat, but David Olsen plays up with the 18s nearly every match (it could even be every match).
1: 16 Gonzalez, Carlos - Real So Cal U-15/16 (21)
2: 15 Swartz, Harrison - FC Bolts Celtic U-15/16 (18)
3: 15 Roberts, Tanner - North Meck SC U-15/16 (17)
4: 15 Tuvesson, Doyle - FC DELCO U-15/16 (16)
5: 15 Prestridge, Richard- Orlando City U-15/16 (17)
6: 15 Agudelo, Santiago - FC Dallas U-15/16 (18)
7: 14 Yomba, Dembakwi - Concorde Fire U-15/16 (18)
8: 14 Kalamar, Denis - Seattle Sounders FC U-15/16 (15)
9: 13 Bangura, Abdallah - Baltimore Bays Chelsea U-15/16 (18)
10: 13 Ozumba, Elochukwu - Houston Dynamo U-15/16 (21)
On April 20th and 21st the Academy against plays at Starfire Stadium. They will host De Anza Force and the Santa Cruz Breakers in division action as they try to both improve their playoff standing (currently 18th of 19 non-Wild Cards) and develop talent for the future of the big club.