A pair of Tacoma Defiance players have been called into the United States U17 camp, the final warmup before qualifying for the U17 World Cup starts on May 2. The camp will be held in Florida from April 4-8, but they could be back in time to catch the Defiance’s next match on April 10 at Orange County.
Ocampo-Chavez is a solid bet to make the U17 roster after leading the team in scoring during the 2019 cycle with five goals and 14 caps.
“He has an amazing feel on the ball,” Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey said on the most recent episode of Sounders Weekly. “He has some starting points you just can’t teach, a real feel for the game.
“He has a tremendously high upside, from pure talent one of the best players in the system. He’s got an incredible amount of ability and can score a goal. He’s got a tremendously bright future.”
While Ocampo-Chavez has been a bit of a mainstay with the U17s, this will be Leyva’s first call-up to that squad. Leyva is the squad’s only 15-year-old and one of only two players born in 2003 to make it. Leyva has been a bit of a breakout player in the Sounders organization since joining the academy as a 13-year-old.
“Both Danny and Alfonso have benefited not only from being in the Defiance environment, but also the exposure,” Sounders Director of Player Development and Academy Director Marc Nicholls told the team website. “When you’re a national team coach preparing for a World Cup, and you’ve got young guys playing professional matches against men, it’s only going to help their development and give them experience in dealing with big occasions.”