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Sounders Academy teams advance to GA Cup Round of 16

Sounders Academy U15s and U17s both top their groups and head into the GA Cup knockout rounds.

Sounders Academy players pose together with a Sounders flag.
Sounders FC Digital

Following dominant opening games of the tournament for the Seattle Sounders Academy’s U15 and U17 teams, both squads have secured spots in the Generation Adidas Cup Round of 16. Both teams finished at the top of their groups, adding another win and a draw — the U15s drew against St. Louis City and lost on penalties, while the U17s drew FC Dallas but won the shoot-out — guaranteeing a place in the knockout rounds and a chance for more silverware and another defense of the title for the U17s.

The organization places a significant emphasis on participation and success in competitions like the GA Cup, which has paid off as the Sounders U17s became the first MLS academy team to win the Premier Division in 2019 and then repeated the feat when they defended their title last year. It’s why age-eligible players on professional deals have made their way down to Bradenton, Fla. to join their academy teammates, as Chris Aquino and Stuart Hawkins both missed Sunday’s Tacoma Defiance game to play with the U17s. Other players who aren’t on pro deals yet, but have spent time training with the first team and Defiace have stepped up to help the U17s get out of the group stage, as forward Michael Luande contributed a stupendous individual goal in a 1-0 win over Miami Rush Kendall and midfielder Snyder Brunell scored the lone goal in the team’s 1-1 draw with Dallas.

In the Round of 16, both teams will face a new challenge. The U15s will play Wednesday at 6 AM against Orlando City, who enter the knockouts as one of the six best second-place teams after securing their spot with a 2-1 win over Minnesota United in their final group game. Orlando drew both of their other group games 1-1, winning their shootout against the Houston Dynamo and losing on penalties against FC Nordsjaelland. If the Sounders beat Orlando they’ll face the winner of French club Toulouse FC and the Columbus Crew in the next round.

Meanwhile, the U17s will face Liga MX academy side Atlas FC at 11:30 AM. Atlas finished second in their group behind Sporting Kansas City. The Mexican academy team lost to SKC 1-0, but beat Toronto FC 2-1 and Charlotte FC 3-1. Should they advance, the U17s’ next step in their title defense will come against the winner of Strikers FC vs FC Dallas.

Neither of the Sounders' Round of 16 matches will be streamed, but the next round likely would be available through MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.

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