The Seattle Sounders won the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's Under-16/17 national championship on Tuesday evening, capping a sterling season with a 5-1 win over Atlanta United at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri.
Atlanta seized an early lead as Daniel Mangarov bundled a loose ball home from close range after a slaloming run by Natnael McDonald opened up the Seattle defense.
8’ | ATLANTA TAKES THE LEAD!— ATLUTD Academy (@AcademyATLUTD) July 10, 2018
Natnael McDonald with the run and Mangarov is there to finish the rebound!
ATL 1-0 SEA pic.twitter.com/dSXfYq03P0
But the Sounders equalized in the 40th minute when Ray Serrano pounced on a poor back pass to race in alone on the goalkeeper and finish coolly.
The match took another turn a few minutes later when Seattle's Marlon Vargas and Atlanta's Victor Delgado faced up after a hard challenge and were both shown straight red cards to leave each side shorthanded for the remainder of the match.
Despite spirited resistance from the Five Stripes, it was all Sounders after that.
Alec Diaz lofted a lovely chip into the net from 18 yards out in the dying moments of the first half to put the Cascadians in the lead, and they poured it on after the break. Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez set off on a mazy solo dribble in the 64th minute that ended with his shot clanging off the near post, teammate Ray Serrano tapping home the rebound for his second goal of the game.
ATLUTD had a chance to cut the lead from the penalty spot, but Sounders goalkeeper Robert Harraka saved the PK at full stretch, and his teammates Azriel Gonzalez and Ocampo-Chavez bagged late counterattack strikes to inflate the final scoreline.