Second Half Brace From Alec Diaz Leads Seattle Sounders FC Past Players Development Academy
Posted Jun 19, 2019

Seattle Sounders FC overturned a 1-0 halftime deficit with three second half goals, including a pair from Alec Diaz, to down Players Development Academy 3-2. The Monday afternoon Group G matchup was the opening Feature Game in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-18/19 Playoffs.

Diaz scored in the 82nd and 87th minutes to give Sounders FC the three points after coming from behind twice in the contest.

With PDA in front 2-1 after a 77th minute goal, it took Sounders FC just five minutes to level the scoreline on the first goal of the game from Diaz. Marlon Vargas played the ball out wide to Connor Drought coming forward down the left side, Drought beat one defender before finding Diaz with a low cross. Diaz took a touch with his right to create just a little bit of space and whistled a rising shot into the back of the net from about 12 yards to tie the game at 2-2.

Sounders FC finally took the lead in the 87th minute on the second of the afternoon from Diaz.

Vargas started the attack for Sounders FC as he beat a defender 1v1 in midfield before playing the ball into space to Daniel Robles. A square ball from Robles found Diaz alone at the top of the box, and his shot took a little deflection and beat PDA goalkeeper Conor Forrest to give Sounders FC the 3-2 victory.

A cagey opening 25 minutes saw few chances created by either side in the Group G opener. Both Seattle Sounders FC and PDA had their share of possession in the early stages of the contest but were unable to carve out any goalscoring opportunities when they reached the final third.

The first good opportunity of the game fell to PDA in the 26th minute as Damian Searchwell created a turnover in midfield and played a great ball into the path of Randy Arronis who fired a shot that was palmed away and collected by Sounders FC goalkeeper Sam Fowler from about 15 yards.

Sounders FC had its first real chance in the 36th minute off a free kick by Peter Kingston. Kingston’s free kick was half-cleared toward the top of the box, and Ben Numbi struck it well on the half-volley from just inside the 18, but his effort went harmlessly high of Forrest as the game remained scoreless.

PDA took the lead just before the stroke of halftime as Marcus Brenes converted a penalty. In the final minute of the opening 45, PDA earned a free kick from about 35 yards out. As the free kick was sent into the box the referee spotted a foul inside the area and pointed to the spot. Brenes’ right-footed penalty beat Fowler and gave to give the New Jersey-based club a 1-0 lead at the intermission.

The second half sprung to life just past the hour mark with both teams creating chances, but it was Sounders FC that would score in the 70th minute to pull level.

After a great save from Forrest on a chance by Diaz, Marlon Vargas equalized on the ensuing corner. The corner was played in toward the six-yard box and the initial header deflected kindly to the feet of Vargas who scooped it high into the net from four yards out to tie the game at 1-1.

The goal from Vargas was just the beginning of a wild final 20 minutes as PDA would go back in front in the 77th minute.

Off a throw deep in the Sounders FC end, Arronis whipped in a cross toward the six-yard box that took a deflection off a Sounders FC defender and past a helpless Fowler to push PDA back in front, 2-1.

The celebrations were short-lived for PDA as five minutes later Diaz fueled the Sounders FC comeback with the first of his two goals as the MLS side took the three points in the Group G opener.

Both teams will be back in action on Wednesday, June 19, when Sounders FC meets Orlando City SC and PDA takes on FC Golden State. Each of those second games of Group G play will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. PT. The winner of each group will advance to the Development Academy Finals in Irvine, CA on July 8-11.