Sounders FC today announced that it has signed forward Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez. Ocampo-Chavez signed with Tacoma Defiance last season following a standout campaign with Sounders FC’s Academy, and recently led the Sounders FC U-17 side in scoring during this past month’s 2019 Generation adidas Cup, which saw the Rave Green become the first MLS organization to win the Champions Division. The 17-year-old becomes the 13th Homegrown Player signing in club history.
Ocampo-Chavez won the Golden Boot at the 2019 Generation adidas Cup, including a hat trick in the semifinals against England’s West Ham United.
“We are pleased to sign a second player off our Generation adidas Cup and National Championship-winning squad to the First Team, and it’s a testament to the development system we have in place,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Alfonso is a talented young player who has proven himself among his peers, and now he has the opportunity to show what he can do at a higher level.”
Ocampo-Chavez has been a mainstay on the U.S. Youth National Team circuit ever since he joined Sounders Academy midway through 2016, and he is currently with his country on U-17 international duty. Along with teammate Josh Atencio, he led the Stars and Stripes to the 2016 Torneo Delle Nazioni in Italy, defeating the likes of England and Portugal. Later that summer, Ocampo-Chavez guided the United States to a second-place finish at the 2015 CONCACAF Championships. The young forward has been a key component of the U-17 National Team since the start of the new cycle, earning callups to the 2017 and 2018 Nike Friendlies, where he squared off against some of the top nations in the world. During the summer of 2018, Ocampo-Chavez scored goals against Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. He is currently the leading scorer for the U.S. U-17 YNT this cycle with five goals in 14 matches.
“Alfonso is a good young player who is doing well within our developmental system,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “The coaching staff is looking forward to integrating him into our team and assessing his progress towards contributing as a First Team player.”
Ocampo-Chavez joined Sounders Academy in 2016 from DA side Merced Academy. After starting out with the U-15s, he was invited to join the U-17s for the first round of Generation adidas Cup in the fall, where he bagged four goals and two assists in three matches, despite playing three years up. In the 2017-2018 season, he was a key contributor for the U-17 team that won the club’s first-ever USSDA National Championship, compiling 17 goals and 10 assists from 25 appearances for the U-17s and U-19s. He also won the Golden Boot at the 2017 Youdan Trophy with eight goals. At the time of his signing with the First Team, Ocampo-Chavez had recorded 18 goals and four assists in 16 appearances across all competitions for the U-17s and U-19s in the 2018-2019 campaign, including a Golden Boot performance at the 2019 GA Cup, where he recorded six goals and an assist in six matches.
“Alfonso has come on strong in the last year, including being a key player in our Academy’s victories at the GA Cup and featuring regularly with the Youth National Team,” said Sounders FC VP of Soccer & Sporting Director Chris Henderson. “He has very good technique striking the ball and has a nose for the goal. Our staff is looking forward to working with him to see him continue on the development pathway, and hopefully he can be a First Team regular in the future.”
Ocampo-Chavez has appeared in three games for Tacoma Defiance this season, including two starts. He has recorded two shots, including one on goal. In 2018, the forward made two starts in three games for Sounders FC’s USL side, recording one shot on goal. Ocampo-Chavez made his professional debut as a 15-year-old on July 8, 2017, when he started and played the full 90 minutes for Sounders FC 2 against Real Monarchs.
The signing of Ocampo-Chavez marks the 13th Sounders FC Homegrown Player signing in club history. U.S. National Team defender DeAndre Yedlin was the club’s first Homegrown Player in 2012, making two MLS All-Star appearances before being sold to Tottenham Hotspur in England’s Premier League. The club then signed midfielder Aaron Kovar and forward Sean Okoli in 2013, before adding forwards Mansaray and Darwin Jones in 2014. In 2016, the Rave Green signed University of Denver midfielder Jordan Schweitzer and 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris to Homegrown deals, then added forward Seyi Adekoya from UCLA and Henry Wingo from Washington to the roster in 2017. Midfielder Handwalla Bwana became the 10th Academy product to sign with the First Team prior the 2018 season, while goalkeeper Trey Muse and midfielder Danny Leyva have both been signed in 2019.
After a compelling 1-1 draw with league-leading Los Angeles FC on Sunday, Brian Schmetzer’s side now hits the road to face Minnesota United FC on Saturday, May 4 in Seattle’s first match at Allianz Field (5:00 p.m. PT / JOEtv, YouTube TV, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM).