Fuel Soccer Talk: Sounders get local; Aguero’s PK misfire; Chipotle joins the team

I heard the news today, oh boy …

Sounders FC sign 15-year-old Danny Leyva as Homegrown Player

Sounders FC this week announced that it has signed midfielder Danny Leyva. Leyva signed with Tacoma Defiance this offseason following a standout campaign with Sounders FC’s Academy, where he was part of the U-17 squad that captured the 2017-2018 USSDA National Championship. In addition to being Seattle’s 12th Homegrown Player, the 15-year-old also becomes the youngest First Team signing in club history.

“We are pleased to announce the signing of Danny Leyva, not only in the sense of adding a quality player to our roster, but as a marker of our commitment to youth development overall,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Danny has impressed us since entering our Academy a couple years ago and has only further proved himself over the past few months while playing with Tacoma Defiance and throughout Sounders FC’s preseason. We are excited to continue his progress and see what he can bring as a member of our First Team.”

Leyva has started four of five appearances in 2019 for Tacoma Defiance, Sounders FC’s USL side, logging 354 minutes. He has an 83.5-percent passing accuracy on a team-high 254 total passes, while also ranking among the team leaders with four tackles won and 19 duels won. On September 29 of last season, Leyva became the youngest player in club history to start a USL match, and the second-youngest in league history to earn a start, completing 35 of 44 passes with two interceptions in 90 minutes at San Antonio FC.

How young is too young to sign a player?

Think Aguero next time you miss a penalty kick!

Next time you see a youth player (or high school player or college player) miss a penalty kick, take a deep breath and think of Sergio Aguero. One of the best soccer players in the world – maybe even one of the best to ever play the game – had a chance this week to kick Manchester City into the lead during their Champions League quarterfinal first leg against host Tottenham Hotspur.

But the 11th-minute penalty shot was saved by Hugo Lloris after a Raheem Sterling shot struck Danny Rose on the hand. Aguero stepped up and fired a shot – not with much authority, placing more importance on placement – Lloris guessed right, dove to his left and punched away Aguero’s shot. Tottenham scored in the second half to take a 1-0 lead back to Manchester City.

Yes, kids, even the great ones miss a penalty kick.

What are the do’s and don’ts when taking a penalty kick?

Chipotle Mexican Grill named official restaurant partner of US Youth Soccer

US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sport organization in the country, this week announced Chipotle Mexican Grill as the official restaurant partner of US Youth Soccer.

The joint partnership will prominently feature Chipotle onsite at regional and national US Youth Soccer competitions and events, and will be communicated through various assets, including onsite activations and digital channels. As part of the collaboration, Chipotle will also become the exclusive presenting sponsor of the US Youth Soccer Presidents Cup.

“To say that we are excited to be partnering with Chipotle, an industry leader in the restaurant space, is an understatement,” said US Youth Soccer CEO, Christopher Moore. “Chipotle is a brand driven by purpose and, together, we share a common goal of inspiring more kids to partake in physical activity and sports, including youth soccer.”

Chipotle has also designated US Youth Soccer the official youth soccer partner of Chipotle. Through the sponsorship, Chipotle will engage customers nationally, and in communities across the country, through digital, social and traditional media, in-restaurant, player appearances and fundraisers that support local soccer clubs, teams and players.

What is your favorite item on the Chipotle menu?

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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