USL Moves: Sounders FC 2 sign Diaz and Robles, two more academy teens

Seattle Sounders FC 2 signed 16-year-olds Alec Diaz and Danny Robles, bringing to six the number of players from the Sounders Academy U-17 team that won the 2017-18 USSDA national championship who have signed pro contracts with the with the MLS club’s USL second team.

Diaz, a forward, and Robles, a playmaker, have been teammates dating back to the U-12 level with local youth club PacNW and entered the Sounders' academy system in 2015.

“We’re really happy for the players,” said PacNW technical director Leighton O’Brien. “We’re happy to be part of their journey and to be the club that they started with. I always remember them playing together with our 2002 team, when they had a really good run and you could just see they were special. I remember them combining well and scoring a lot of goals, playing with that pure passion for the game. It was fun to see.”

Diaz was among seven teenagers who played Saturday in S2's 3-1 loss at San Antonio FC. Robles is one of four Sounders FC 2 players in Mexico with the U.S. U-17 national team along with Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez, Josh Atencio and Ray Serrano.

Other academy players signed to USL deals are Azriel Gonzalez, Marlon Vargas, Ocampo-Chavez and Serrano.

Sounders U-17 head coach Chris Little on Diaz:

“Alec’s goalscoring record speaks for itself. In the last 2-3 years, I’m not sure there are many players who have scored more than him. He’s really worked on the other parts of his game. His hold-up play, ability to combine, his ability to play with his back to goal and then his pressing and willingness to defend from the front have really come on as well.”

Little on Robles:

“I think Danny’s performance levels, going back to last season through the national championship, have been very high. As an attacking, creative player, if you look at his statistics, he’s leading in many categories across the country — involvement in the build-up to goals, key passes, successful dribbles, etc. — which is extremely important for a No. 10.”
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