(Sounders U23 release) The Sounders U23 team went on the road on May 5th and May 7th with a mix of trialists, new players, and players familiar with the team as they prepare for the PDL season. With a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup game at Seattle Memorial Stadium versus OSA FC this Wednesday preceding the start to the PDL Northwest Division schedule, it will be a learning on the job experience for many young players.
(Cover photo: Sergio Rivas, Sounders U23.)
The PDL is the top amateur league in North America, fielding 72 teams across the continent in 2017. The Sounders U23 will enter their third Lamar Hunt US Open Cup after playing in 2013 and 2016 and advancing to play Charlotte (USL) and Kitsap SC (NPSL) respectively the past two competitions.
With much to play for and a league season right around the corner, the young guns in green headed to Bellingham on Friday, May 5th to take on the Bellingham Hammers in an annual game hosted by Lance Calloway and the Hammers. Fielding a group of trialists and new players to the Sounders U23 team, the Sounders U23 got on the board early with a worm-burner of a shot from local player Abdi Galgalo. Galgalo turned at the top of the 18 yard box on a feed from Adam Jones and rifled the ball into the right side-netting. Not soon after, Jones cleverly took a ball off a corner kick, took a touch inside, and half volleyed a left footed rocket into the back of the net. The teams went into half time with a 2-0 score-line for the Sounders U23.
With some changes at the half for both teams, the second half saw Eddie Na convert a header in the 52nd minute after Colton Cavey had his shot blocked back into play. The score stayed at 3-0 until late in the game when Rene Caro scored for Bellingham to end the game at 3-1 with the Sounders U23 winning away.
With a quick turnaround and the arrival of a few more players, the Sounders U23 team headed up to play NCAA national power, the University of Washington Huskies, in the final tilt for the Huskies this spring season. The Sounders U23 team scored 8 minutes into the heated affair with Derek Johnson taking a feed from Sergio Rivas. The Huskies would answer immediately in the 12th minute to knot the game at 1-1. As the game grew more physical, a foul was called on the Sounders U23 team and Handwalla Bwana spanked an upper corner freekick into the Sounders U23 net to make it 2-1 in favor of the Huskies. The teams went into half time with the Sounders U23 team down 1-2.
The second half again saw many new changes for the Sounders U23 team. In the 55th minute a Husky defender brought down Will Bagrou and a penalty was awarded. Rivas calmly stepped up and finished the penalty to make the game 2-2. The game ended in a tie at 2-2.
On Wednesday, May 10th, the Sounders U23 will travel to play OSA FC in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup at 7pm at Seattle Memorial Stadium. The Sounders U23 will start PDL league play on May 19th against the Portland Timbers U23 team at Bonney Lake High School stadium at 7:30pm. Tickets and a complete schedule can be found at http://www.soundersu23.com. With a quick start and much to play for, the Sounders U23 2017 season is underway!