Next year’s S2 squad is going to look an awful like the Sounders Academy U17 team that won the GA Cup and USSDA championship this year. The latest player from that team to sign a professional contract is Daniel Leyva, a 15-year-old who played up with the U17’s and became the youngest player to ever start a S2 match earlier this year. In playing a full 90 minutes against San Antonio FC on Sept. 29, Leyva also became the second youngest player to ever start a USL match.
Leyva joins Marlon Vargas, Ray Serrano, Azriel Gonzalez, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Alec Diaz and Danny Robles as players from that U17 championship squad to sign pro deals with S2 for the 2019 season. With Shandon Hopeau’s recent announcement that he has re-signed for 2019, there are currently 11 Sounders Academy products on professional contracts with S2.
“We’ve been really pleased with Danny’s development,” Sounders FC Director of Player Development Marc Nicholls said in a team release. “He’s a rangy midfielder who has an eye for goal and is very capable as a defensive player and ball-winner. He’s a highly intelligent player and has a maturity beyond his years in terms of his decision-making.”
Leyva, known primarily as a box-to-box midfielder, is coming off an outstanding 2018 academy season in which he had 11 goals and 13 assists in all competitions for the U15 and U17 sides.