This past weekend, the top MLS-sponsored youth competition, the GA Cup, got underway in Frisco, Texas. It is a tournament that the Sounders will want to win, but its main perk is for the individual players who get a chance to show what they can do in front of a large number of scouts, particularly from the USYNTs. With the U17 World Cup coming up this summer in Brazil, a good performance could punch a player’s ticket. Both Danny Leyva and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez look like they may have done just that.
The Sounders lost their opening group stage match 1-0 against La Liga’s Valencia FC, but in their second Ocampo-Chavez got on the end of a Leyva free kick in extra-time to secure a 2-1 win over Brasileirão’s Flamengo. This left the Sounders a myriad of situations that could secure them second in the group in their final game against Montréal. Ocampo-Chavez left nothing to doubt though, scoring the game’s lone goal in the 36th minute and sending the Sounders through their group and on to the knockout stage.
In the quarterfinals, the Sounders will face the storied River Plate of Argentina’s Primera División. The match kicks off Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. PST, and will be streamed on MLS’s Twitch channel. The winner will play in the semifinals on Thursday, with the final taking place on Saturday. If the Sounders can win Saturday, it will be their first GA Cup Champions Division title — they won the second-tier Premier Division last year — and the first by an MLS side since 2012.