There are several soccer teams in the Puget Sound that wear the rave green and sounder blue of the Seattle Sounders. Local fans are well aware of the rough year that the two big clubs have been going through. However, there some other teams representing the Sounders culture that are not only successful, but playing in top form. The Seattle Sounders Academy, the Sounders Women and the Sounders U23 clubs have all found success this season, and with any luck, they could be in position to bring home a trophy or two.
In fact, the Sounders Academy has already reached the mountaintop in the United States Development Academy’s U16-17 national championship tournament at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, July 10. After giving up an early 1-0 lead to Atlanta United, the Sounders Academy squad fought tooth and nail to find an equalizer. A goal by Ray Serrano tied the game in the 40th minute, and then it was all Sounders for the remainder of the match.
The boys from Puget Sound would shut down the Atlanta scoring machine and drop another four goals into the back of the net for a 5-1 victory. Things may be a little tough for the big club, but the future for the Sounders is looking very solid after seeing the youngsters hoist the national championship trophy.
Closer to home, the Sounders Women have been doing what they do best. For the third-straight season, the Sounders Women have captured the Women’s Premier Soccer League’s Northwest Division championship. A 6-1 victory over the TSS Rovers on Saturday, July 7, at Sunset Stadium in Sumner ran their record to 6-0-1 to end the regular season.
The Sounders Women will host the WPSL West Region Final Four beginning on Saturday, July 14, at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila. Game one will feature the Sounders Women hosting the Beach Futbol Club (6-1-0) from Torrance, Calif. at 12 p.m. The second semifinal will match the FC Tucson Women (5-2-1) against the Fresno FC Ladies (6-0-2). The winners of the semifinals will meet at Starfire on Sunday, July 15, at 1 p.m.
With two wins, the Sounders Women would advance to the WPSL Final Four in Norman, Okla. The WPSL semifinals will take place on Friday, July 20, with the championship match set for Sunday, July 22. To get to the top of the heap in the WPSL is a formidable task, as the league is made up of 104 clubs spanning the United States and Puerto Rico.
The playoffs have yet to begin in the Premier Development League, but don’t tell that to the Sounders U23. With two games remaining on the regular season schedule, the Sounders U23 hold their post-season hopes and dreams in their own hands. After taking a second-straight victory over the Portland Timbers U23 in a span of a week, the Sounders U23 would have to get past a feisty Victoria Highlanders club on Friday, July 6. Powered by a pair of goals from Santiago Patino, the Sounders U23 topped Victoria 3-1, avenging an early June loss up north.
With their third win in a row, the Sounders U23 (5-4-3) look to be peaking, going into their road match against the TSS Rovers (4-4-1) on Wednesday, July 11. The regular season will wrap with a road match against the first-place Calgary Foothills FC (8-1-2). The Sounders U23 are in a heated battle for the last (Wild Card) spot in the PDL Western Conference Tournament. They will need an upset win over Calgary to remain in the running for the playoffs.
*Editor’s note: After the Tacoma Weekly went to press, the Sounders U23 headed north made it four wins in a row, after knocking off the TSS Rovers by a score of 3-0 on Wednesday, July 11, moving them into second place in the division and keeping them alive for the final playoff spot in the West. The Rovers have been knocked out of post-season contention.
After winning the Major Soccer League championship in 2016, and finishing as the runners-up in 2017, the Seattle Sounders have struggled through the current season with a lackluster 4-9-4 record. Along with many other factors, the early loss of Jordan Morris for the season has had a big impact on the Sounders’ offensive output. Through 17 matches, the Sounders have scored just 15 goals. The boys from Centurylink Field currently sit a full 10 points out of the playoff picture.
The Sounders S2 have had an even tougher time in their current USL season. While the matches at Cheney Stadium have been enjoyable, there’s not much to be said about the 3-11-2 record. After four consecutive losses, the Sounders S2 now find themselves at the bottom of the 17-team USL Western Conference standings. Amazingly enough, the club is only four points out of a playoff spot. With a host of games still on tap through October, perhaps there’s still a chance to turn their season around.
They may not be associated with the Sounders, but the Washington Premier FC (formerly South Sound FC) also has a strong, winning tradition. With their 4-1 win over the Oly Town Artesians on Sunday, July 8, the WPFC clinched the top seed in the Evergreen Premier League with an 8-1-0 record. The local boys will have one final regular season game to tune up for the playoffs. It will be a rivalry game on Sunday, July 15, at the Washington Premier field in Puyallup, when Bellingham United pays a visit. Expect one of the toughest matches of the year to take place.