The Seattle Sounders Academy U17s have a chance to do something no other North American academy has done since the GA Cup became an international tournament: Take the Champions division title. They are already the first such academy to make the Champions division final since the GA Cup started inviting eight international academies (the first year only 4 took part), but winning the title would be several levels above just making the final in national and international prestige.
On their way to the final, the Sounders have beaten the world class academies from Flamengo, River Plate and West Ham United; they also beat the Montréal Impact. Their one loss came against the side they are playing in the final, Valencia CF, who beat them 1-0 (that first match can be seen here). The Sounders look to be in better form than they were when the two first met, but so do Valencia who beat Dinamo Zagreb — the academy largely responsible for Croatia’s run to the Men’s World Cup final — 3-0 in their semifinal match. The Sounders advanced to the final by beating West Ham 4-0, which featured a Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez first-half hat trick.
In addition to Ocampo-Chavez, the U17s feature four other players signed to professional contracts. Ocampo-Chavez, Ray Serrano, Josh Atencio and Danny Robles are under contract with Tacoma Defiance, while Danny Leyva was just signed to the First Team.
The final will be played at FC Dallas’ Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas and is set to kickoff at 4 p.m. PST. They will play two 35-minute halves, if tied at regulation there will be a 10-minute extra-time period and then penalties if it is still level. The match will be streamed on MLS’s Twitch channel. If you want to get wild, there will also be an alternative stream with commentary from Jimmy Conrad and our very own Jeremiah Oshan on the former’s Twitch channel.