Seattle Sounders U17s Win Generation adidas Cup
The Sounders’ Academy earned the title of GA Cup Champions by defeating some of the best young players in the global game.
The Generation adidas Cup is an American youth soccer tournament in which MLS Development Academies compete alongside some of the best-known youth academies from overseas — and in the past few years, famous teams from abroad have won. In 2018, Brazil’s team Flamengo walked off with the trophy and for the three years preceding, Argentina’s River Plate from Buenos Aires won. In fact, the last time an MLS Academy was even in the final was back in 2014 when Real Salt Lake lost to Stoke City in 2014.
Longtime critics of American youth soccer should take note, Soccer in America is dramatically improving — we still have a long way to go but it is clear, our side of the Atlantic has high quality rising stars who can hold their own against tough international competition.
This year, Seattle Sounders Academy took on La Liga’s Valencia CF and defeated them in the final. Founded in 1919, the Spanish club had beat the Sounders’ squad earlier in the GA Cup but the American team had the mental toughness, talent, and spirit to prevail and earn the title of champion.
The GA Cup final was not the only tough match — the Sounders pushed past Brazilian side Flamengo, Argentine powerhouse River Plate and England’s West Ham United to compete in the Champions Division final.
These are the teams that emerged as the leaders of their Champions Division Group Leaders in the 2019 Generation Adidas Cup:
- West Ham – Group A
- Dinamo Zagreb – Group B
- River Plat – Group C
- Valencia – Group D
Seattle Sounders ranked #2 as they emerged from the Champions Division Group D, with a total of 6 points — 2 points behind Valencia.
But the Sounders’ coaches had well-prepared their players for this event.
In fact, the Sounders believe experience is one of the important keys to success. According to the MLS coverage of the win, the Sounders Academy staff believes it’s critical to take young players out of their comfort zone by playing them
Five of Seattle’s starters on Saturday are already under contract with the club on either the First Team or USL Championship’s Tacoma Defiance coached by Chris Little. These rising stars are playing significant minutes at the professional level and even those players who have not signed have benefited from high-level international games.
Players on this U-17 team have beaten the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton FC, FC Basel (twice), Celtic FC and Saprissa.
Seattle Sounders deserves to celebrate. The team defeated England’s West Ham United 4-0 in the Semifinal to advance to the GA Cup final. Valencia beat Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 in their Semifinal.
After the team’s initial loss to Valencia in their first match, the Sounders won four consecutive victories, all with clean sheets – against the Impact (1-0), Flamengo (1-0), River Plate (1-0) and West Ham United (4-0).
For a great recap of the action in the Final Match – please check out this Seattle Sounders article