SUM Cup you say? That's one of the Academy competitions that MLS teams participate in during a given year. This one is a U-17 competition, which means that the Sounders team won't be one of their two official academy teams as they operate a U-16 and U-18 team right now. And honestly do we really need a team for every single year? Why not half years?
This year Houston is hosting the SUM Cup, rather than Colorado, as this Academy event will coincide with the All Star Week for the foreseeable future. That's a great move, as it gets the kids around the best players in the league, as well as see the league infrastructure and its corporate partners. A solid move as some of these guys will still need to be convinced to become players in MLS. Seeing the level of professionalism around the league should help.
The Dynamo site has a recap of yesterday's matches. You can see there that Seattle surprised the Dallas Juniors yesterday earning a Penalty Shootout win. The tourney has two quirky rules due to a highly compressed schedule. Those penalty shootouts to make tie-breakers just a touch easier, and only 30 minute halves as the teams will play three games in four days during the Group Stage. The Finalists will play 5 games in 7 days.
Before the tourney Seattle was at best seen as a dark horse, you can read the complete Group B preview here, but the following is the selection on the young Sounders Academy.
Similar to Philadelphia, the Seattle Sounders are new to the academy scene. Seattle officially became a U.S. Soccer Development Academy program for 2010-11 after taking the previous membership held by the Washington Premier Football Club. The bad news for Seattle is they have not had the opportunity to develop their own players. The good news for Seattle is that the Washington Premier Football Club has some strong players that will be able to step in right away and help.
First and foremost is Dominique Dismuke, a 5-foot-11 forward who scored nine goals in league play last season. Dismuke will rely on former WPFC teammate Troy Peterson to find him in space and create chances. Peterson will also be relied upon to find the back of the net after scoring six goals of his own last season. Look for Seattle to remain competitive in its first tournament against other MLS academies, but in this strong a group, they appear unlikely to advance.
Day One really showed us nothing about Group B as it was all draws and PK wins.
The other Groups can be seen here.
Reports over twitter yesterday were that the Houston Dynamo Academy clearly played the best, how much of that is because they are the hosts we will never know.
Here'sMLS Insider's Recap to include a short video of Sounders Keeper Rodney Greiling.
We'll throw up FanShots of the results as we get them.