Get Recruited Faster with a Player Profile on

Youth Boys May 19, 2016

Seattle Sounders Academy U-16s, U-18s pick up wins

Strikers Logo

(Via Seattle Sounders FC /Joseph Mondello) – With U-14 Sounders Academy team turning plenty of heads in the Cayman Islands, the U-16 and U-18 sides followed suit in Starfire Stadium.

Despite missing several key players — Harrison Kurtz, Tobi Jnohope, Lorenzo Ramos and Kei Tomazawa all traveled with S2 for the match against Sacramento—Seattle still managed the double over Portland. Both the results and performances are indicative of the massive strides in development that Sounders Academy has made this year. The U-16s collected a third-consecutive league win over Portland, registering a +12 goal difference against their Cascadia rivals this year.

The Cascadia rivals squared off in the first match of the current USSDA campaign back in September. In the match, Seattle conceded a pair of first half-goals while struggling to carve out many chances for themselves.

After several months of working on defensive organization and building attacks out of the back, the Rave Green managed a 1-1 draw against Portland in March. With the group in the midst of the ‘finishing’ phase of the Academy curriculum, the comprehensive 4-0 victory demonstrates their holistic development since the loss in September. With only a few regular season matches remaining, both squads will look to maintain their momentum and enter the Academy playoffs in fine form.

+Read: Around the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Week 25

With the group missing Kurtz’s inventiveness and guile on the left, as well as Ramos’ composure in possession and ability to read the game in the heart of midfield, the Rave Green were forced to reshuffle. The tactical changes paid dividends all over the pitch, as Seattle scored four excellent team goals while maintaining their defensive discipline to record the clean sheet.

A number of players were fielded in slightly unfamiliar roles. Johnny Magnus dropped deeper than usual in order to sit in front of the back-four and break up possession when Portland pushed forward. Meanwhile, striker Handwalla Bwana, who has already made four appearances for S2 this season, thrived on the freedom afforded in the number 10 role.

The fourth and final goal perfectly captured the communal and efficient nature of the victory. After notching two goals and an assist, Bwana made way for left-back Tyler Black in the 75th minute. In second-half stoppage time, fellow substitute Alex Bradbury powered through Portland’s midfield before slipping the ball out wide to Black. The young defender found whipped in a first-time cross, which found an unmarked Bradbury who had continued his run and ghosted between the Timbers defenders.

It was a tale of two halves for the U-16s as they withstood significant early pressure from Portland. With the Timbers harrying and harassing the young Sounders in the middle of the pitch—as well as cutting off passing lines out wide—Seattle struggled to maintain possession.

The DA staff made several adjustments at the interval, and the tinkering paid immediate dividends when midfielder Cam Martin broke the deadlock in the 41st minute. Striker Wilson Harris effectively killed off the tie in the 61st minute with an intelligent finish. Harris’ crafty and purposeful movement off the ball wreaked havoc on the Timbers’ backline all afternoon.

Recent Results


  • Sounders FC 4 vs. Portland Timbers FC 0 (5/14/16)


  • Sounders FC 2 vs. Portland Timbers FC 0 (5/14/16)

Standout Performers

Nick Hinds and Habib Barry, a pair of young Sounders who have featured with S2 this year, put in dynamic displays against Portland. In addition to defending diligently throughout the match, Hinds blistering pace and overlapping runs provided width to Seattle’s attack. Meanwhile, Barry bossed the middle of the pitch on both sides of the ball, effectively covering every blade of grass between the 18s.

Coach’s Take

“The 16s win over Portland was our third this season over our rivals to the south and it was a product of patience and persistence as we had to wait until the second half to find the breakthrough.  Once it came it was simply a case of managing possession and continuing to move the ball with an eye to going forward.  The clean sheet was important, too, as we now face four games on the road to finish the regular season.” –Academy Coach Wade Webber

Looking Forward

The older Sounders Academy sides will take place in another local rivalry match next weekend, as both teams will face off against Crossfire. Sounders won both matches back in March by two goals, with the U-18s winning 4-2 while the U-16s collected a comprehensive 2-0 victory.

Featured Players

See Commitment List