Just listening to anyone associated with the Seattle Sounders Academy talk about the talent coming through the pipeline, and there’s an obvious excitement. It would appear that reputation has moved well beyond the Pacific Northwest.
Last week, eight Sounders Academy Players were named to the United Soccer Coaches’ youth All-America team. That team is comprised of 47 players from all over the country. No team had more players on that list. Two more players were named to the organization’s All-Western Region team, a list composed of 41 players.
Josh Atencio, Khai Brisco, Azriel Gonzalez, Blake Malone, Danny Leyva, Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Danny Robles and Ray Serrano were all named to the All-America list, while Marlon Vargas and Eric Kinzner made the All-West team. Gonzalez, Ocampo-Chavez, Robles, Serrano, and Vargas are all signed to professional contracts.
Perhaps even more impressive is that three Sounders were named to the United State’s U17 team for the upcoming Nike International Friendlies. The Sounders and Galaxy were the only two academies to have three players called in.
Ocampo-Chavez and Robles should both be names many Sounders fans are familiar with. Ocampo-Chavez already has five USYNT goals and played four matches with S2 after signing a professional contract with them last year. Robles also recently signed to S2 and was among the standout players last year. But the third Sounders player to make this U17 team is likely a bit less well known, even among those familiar with the Academy’s players. Alex Villanueva joined the Academy relatively recently after spending several years in Real Salt Lake’s academy. All three players are listed as forwards.