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Reserves, Academy dominate weekend

Portland Week started with a 5-nil Reserve win over the University of Portland. The U-18s won twice; the U-16s went 1-0-1; both are in first in their division.

Fabio Pereira at an earlier training session
Fabio Pereira at an earlier training session
Mike Russell Foto

The Future continues to look quite bright. Yedlin started and Okoli got a run in the loss to Columbus, but deeper down the pipeline the results were much more favorable than up at the First Team. With so few actual Reserve League games Seattle Sounders FC took on the University of Portland in a friendly.

The starting lineup was stacked so the 5-nil win looks impressive, but there are more takeaways than the fact that Kevin Parsemain slotted two, Chad Barrett one, Marco Pappa one and Cam Weaver got one too.

They played in a 4-1-3-2 with Pereira as the holding midfielder. It was a different role for the man who is normally an attacking player.

"I think at the next level you have to be able to play in different positions. I'm more of an attacking minded player, but I'm liking it," Pereira told Sounder at Heart after the game. "You see a lot more of the ball. Whatever the coach wants me to do I'm going to do."

Leadership from Zach Scott and Josh Ford helped him (and later several Academy players) adjust to the unusual role. But with Marco Pappa in that #10 role for the first two thirds of the game it meant that Pereira knew he wouldn't get forward much. The last third or so of the game Pappa went wide and Fabio played a double-pivot with Duncan McCormick.

Fabio looked good. He was a willing tackler who would immediately shift the ball into a space that could be used to attack Portland. He did leave more space than typical for a Seattle team. His late runs up top were as a relief valve rather than a shooter.

Ford, Gonzalez, Scott, Estrada and Pappa all went 90. Bowen, Weaver and Academy players entered as soon as the second half. Cody Crook, Henry Wingo, Jacob Hauser-Ramsey and McCormick all saw time. Crook and Hauser-Ramsey both played a half for the 18s earlier.

Sunday's U-18 game against the Santa Cruz Breakers was not a contest. Satoshi Chaffin netted four. Crook, a centerback with great air skills, scored twice. David Olsen and Marc Kaizi-Lutu both put one in the net. They won 8-2.

Saturday's match was closer. It should have been. De Anza Force started the weekend in first. A goal by McCormick in the final moments put Seattle at the top of the division. The Sunday win puts Seattle five points clear of Vancouver  with 44 points in 21 played and a +32 goal differential.

The U-16s are nearly as dominant. Their four-point weekend puts them at 43 points and a +30, also in first. Saturday was a nil-nil draw against De Anza (midtable team at the younger level). Sunday's match against Santa Cruz was tighter than the early U-18 game. The 3-nil halftime score held for the final 45. Diego Silvas, Tosh Samkange and Ryan Schaeffer all scored.

Both Academy teams only have six matches left in USSDA play before the Playoffs. The next home game is May 10th against Vancouver.

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