Three Sounders Academy players have been called into a 26-man domestic training camp with the United States U-17 men’s national team. Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez and Danny Leyva were mainstays with the U-17s during qualification for the U-17 World Cup, and for the camp in Carson, California they’ll be joined by Sounders Academy player Ethan Dobbelaere. This will be Dobbelaere’s first youth national team camp, having only previously been called into a talent ID camp. He’s been with the Sounders Academy since the 2015-16 season.
The group will play two friendlies against USL Championship sides — Orange County Soccer Club on July 31, and LA Galaxy II on Aug. 6 — as they begin preparation for the U-17 World Cup in October where they’ll be in a group with Senegal, Japan and the Netherlands. Leyva and Ocampo-Chavez have already done well to earn a chance to be on the roster for the World Cup through their performances during qualifying, and their recent appearances with the Sounders first team have likely only helped to bolster their claims.
For his part, Ocampo-Chavez will also be entering the camp with some added confidence after scoring his first two professional goals and adding an assist as Tacoma Defiance defeated Las Vegas Lights FC 4-1 on Wednesday night. The game also marked a milestone for Dobbelaere as he earned his first appearance with the USL Championship side, getting nine minutes off the bench.
Seattle’s three call-ups matches the LA Galaxy for the most players from a single club at the camp. It’s another sign of the growth and quality of Seattle’s development system, as the academy continues to produce players for the Defiance and the first team, as well as the US National Team at various levels.