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Sounders U23s End First Season With Semifinal Loss

In their first season in existence, the Sounders U23s won the toughest division in the PDL, won their first ever playoff match, and defeated 2009 PDL Champion Ventura County Fusion in the conference finals. That took them to the national semifinals yesterday in London, Ontario, where they faced Forest City London, who are on a bit of a cinderella run with the fewest regular season points of any playoff team.

Seattle picked up two goals in the first half and it looked like they were going to roll into the national final, but the Forest City coach made two subs before halftime and the bleeding stopped. Then he must have made some kind of halftime speech, because they scored two goals in the first few minutes of the second half. The match stayed tied for some time until they scored once again in the 84th and held on to take the win and move on to face the Carolina Dynamo in the PDL finals.

The game result was disappointing, especially after taking a two goal lead, but the overall season was a tremendous achievement by the players and staff. The roster was dominated by former Sounders Academy players and the addition of the team to the Sounders organization represented a chance for the Seattle coaching staff to keep an eye on their now-collegiate players through the summer. That's a useful opportunity and one that's likely to continue in future years as long as MLS roster rules are stringent enough that a team can't carry purely developmental players.

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