The NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament is well under way, with first round matches being played across the country on Thursday evening. Now, with 32 teams remaining, the field is tightening up as the National Championship in Cary, North Carolina, on Dec. 14 is fast approaching.
Six of those teams will take the field on Sunday with Real Salt Lake Academy players among their regular contributors. Here is a look at those teams and what they have lined up for the second round of the tournament on Sunday.
Stanford (13-2-3, 1st in Pac-12, vs. UC-Irvine on Sunday)
Freshman midfielder Corey Baird had four goals and four assists in 18 appearances this season, including 13 starts. The 2nd Team All Pac-12 selection notched the assist on the overtime goal that clinched the Pac-12 Championship for the Cardinal in a 3-2 overtime win over rivals California last Sunday. Sophomore Trevor Hyman has also made three substitute appearances for Stanford, who holds the No. 6 seed.
Washington (12-5-1, 3rd in Pac-12, vs. Furman on Sunday)
Freshman midfielder/forward Danny Gavin is a regular contributor off the bench for the Huskies, who reached the Elite Eight last season. Gavin made three early-season starts and has 14 appearances overall for 14th-seeded Washington.
Oregon State (12-7-1, 5th in Pac-12, beat Denver in the first round, @ Creighton on Sunday)
Junior goalkeeper Matt Bersano started in 16 matches this season, posting a 9-6-1 record with five shutouts, including a shutout of Washington in the regular season finale and Denver in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He holds a 1.08 goals against average and earned Honorable Mention All Pac-12 honors.
Louisville (11-8-3, 2nd in the ACC, vs. St. Louis on Sunday)
Two key contributors to Louisville’s success in 2014 are RSL Academy alums. Junior forward Ricardo Velazco led the Cardinals in scoring with six goals and five assists in 20 appearances, 19 of them starts. That earned him third-team All-ACC recognition. Meanwhile sophomore midfielder Andrew Brody notched two goals and four assists while starting all 20 matches. The Cardinals also feature Jack Gayton and Jon Zabassajja.
Maryland (13-5-3, vs. UMBC on Sunday)
Freshman midfielder and forward Eric Carbajal made three starts for the Terrapins this season, tallying one assist.
Clemson (13-6-3, 1st in the ACC, vs. Coastal Carolina on Sunday)
Senior defender Phanuel Kavita has registered 89 consecutive starts for the Tigers – every match since he arrived on campus. This season, he has started all 20 matches, scoring two goals to help Clemson win the ACC title. He finished as a second-team All-ACC selection.
The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-16’s were unable to win back-to-back championships on Saturday, falling 2-0 to LA Galaxy in the 2013-2014 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Championship match held at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
The Claret-and-Cobalt were unable to stage a comeback after going down in the 28th minute through LA’s Dylan Smith, who tapped in a deflection off of RSL’s goalpost. The Galaxy recorded an insurance goal in the 51st minute when Juan Orozco volleyed home a blast from the top of the 18 yard box.
Real Salt Lake entered Saturday’s final looking to win its second-straight USSDA U-16 Championship title. The defending champs advanced to the final match after putting in a dominant performance in its semifinal game two days earlier - a 5-1 rout of Strikers FC.
Despite the loss and second-place finish on Saturday, the RSL-AZ U-16’s had a fantastic year finishing first in the USSDA Southwest Division and West Conference. The Claret-and-Cobalt also snagged multiple end-of-year conference awards, with RSL’s Sebastian Saucedo winning Player of the Year along with a Forward of the Year honor in the West. Real Salt Lake first-team homegrown signing Justen Glad picked up a Defender of the Year award as well. In the team awards, the entire U-16 squad took home the Style of Play honor.
The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-18 squad was also represented in the conference awards with midfielder Jose Hernandez earning Midfielder of the Year accolades.
In the overall awards, the entire Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy program took home the Best Training Facility honor in the West Conference.
The RSL-Arizona Academy U-16's will take on Strikers FC tomorrow in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoff semifinals at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The U-16's are looking to retain their title as USSDA Champions - the young Claret-and-Cobalt side took home the championship title in 2013. A few Real Salt Lake first-team players and coaches, along with GM Garth Lagerwey sent a good luck message to the U-16 squad. Check out the video below.
You can send your best wishes to the youngsters by tweeting at the @RSLAcademy handle.
After a delayed and then restarted match on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-16’s advanced to the 2013-14 U.S. Soccer Development Academy semifinals with a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes U-16’s.
In the originally scheduled match on Tuesday, the Claret-and-Cobalt got off to a fantastic start with two goals in the first 26 minutes from forwards Josh Doughty and Brooks Lennon, but the match was stopped and eventually postponed due to approaching storms in the area. In accordance with U.S. Development Academy rules, the game was restarted the next day with a 0-0 score line since the match had not reached halftime.
With the sneak peak of Real Salt Lake’s attack the previous day, San Jose came out better prepared and displayed a much improved defensive effort. Real Salt Lake managed much fewer chances but was able to finish one in the 60th minute through midfielder Evan Waldrep that proved to be enough to send the Claret-and-Cobalt through.
RSL registered its first chance of the reschedule match in the 13th minute. Doughty started the play, connecting with Waldrep who found an open Lennon in the box. Lennon let one rip but the attempt flew over the crossbar. In the 19th minute, Waldrep would again provide service for a teammate, holding up the ball 20 yards from goal until Diego Silva found space on the left wing, shooting from the edge of the box and forcing a deflection away for a corner kick.
At the start of the second half, Real Salt Lake started on the front foot, creating chances almost immediately. In the 44th minute, Lennon passed the ball to the top of the 18 yard box to waiting midfielder Danilo Acosta, whose shot flew over the crossbar, failing to challenge the San Jose keeper. With RSL pressing on the attack, San Jose was able to find some space behind the defense on the counter. RSL goalkeeper Christian Herrera was forced in several moments to make leaping saves to stop San Jose’s crossing attack from the wings.
Real Salt Lake finally found its much awaited goal in the 60th minute. Waldrep was again at the center of the action, finding space at the top of the 18 yard box to blast a shot that deflected off a San Jose defender and into the net.
After going down a goal, San Jose desperately searched for the equalizer forcing more big saves from the Claret-and-Cobalt’s Herrera. Entering the final ten minutes, San Jose began to throw every man forward, resulting in some nervy final moments for Real Salt Lake. In the 73rd minute, San Jose found space on a counter attack, unleashing a shot from 20 yards out that forced another save from Herrera.
Real Salt Lake were able to weather the storm through and secured the 1-0 win to advance. The RSL-Arizona Academy U-16’s will now play in the semifinal match held on Thursday, July 17 in Carson, California. The opponent is still to be determined.
The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-16’s and U-18’s wrapped up the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs last week, with the U-16’s advancing to the quarterfinals while the RSL-AZ U-18’s were eliminated from postseason play.
The RSL-Z U-16’s – reigning U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Champions – finished at the top of their group with a 2-0-1 record and total of six points, earning first-place based on goal differential. The U-16’s opened group play with a 3-1 victory over New Jersey Soccer Academy 04 all thanks to a hat trick from Claret-and-Cobalt FW Sebastian Saucedo. The youngsters then went on to defeat Georgia United 5-2, powered by another hat trick from Saucedo, and finished the week off with a 2-0 loss to St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri. The RSL-AZ U-16 squad will look to retain their title, hosting its quarterfinal match at home in Casa Grande, Arizona on either July 7 or 9. The exact date, time and opponent will be announced at a later date.
The RSL-AZ U-18’s did not fare as well as their younger counterparts, finishing second in their group with a 1-1-1 record and total of four points. Seattle Sounders FC U-18’s finished first with a perfect 3-0-0 record to advance to the quarterfinals. The RSL-AZ U-18’s opened up group play with a 1-1 draw against Indiana Fire and went on to earn three points with a 4-3 win over Concorde Fire. In the final group stage match, needing a win to advance to the quarterfinals, the RSL-AZ U-18’s fell 3-1 to Seattle after taking the lead early in the second half. The RSL-AZ U-18’s finished the regular season with an 18-4-5 record, the best record in history for a U-18 team at Grande Sports World.
The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy lost the Generation adidas Cup Final in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday, falling 1-1 (3-2) in a penalty kick shootout.
RSL-Arizona Academy star Sebastian Saucedo scored the opening goal in the match, a long distance free kick that ended up skipping into the back of the net in the 26th minute. Stoke City managed to equalize in the second half which ended up sending the match to penalty kicks after the sides remained knotted 1-1 after regulation.
Stoke City GK Tommy Dyche made two penalty stops and RSL hit the post twice to hand the Championship to the English side. You can read a full match recap here.
The RSL-AZ Academy team put in a dominant performance to reach Sunday’s Final, securing four wins throughout the tournament to advance to the Championship match. The RSL-Arizona Academy defeated Toronto FC 2-1, beat Stoke City 2-2 (4-2) in another dramatic penalty kick shootout, dismantled LA Galaxy 6-1 and then shutout FC Dallas 3-0 in the semifinals.
RSL’s Saucedo was awarded the tournament’s MVP award and Golden Boot for his astounding performance throughout the entire tournament.
SANDY, Utah – It was announced yesterday that three RSL-Arizona Academy players, DF Justen Glad, GK Christian Herrera and MF Sebastian Saucedo, have been named to the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team roster for a 10-day training camp. The training camp will be held at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif., from April 4-13.
The U.S. will play two friendlies while in the 10-day camp, facing off against the Canada’s U-18 National Team on April 8 and then Mexico’s U-18 squad on April 12. This will be the first camp since the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team participated in the Copa del Atlantico in the Canary Islands in February. Both Herrera and Saucedo were a part of the U.S. squad that competed in the international tournament.
Glad, Herrera and Saucedo have guided the RSL-Arizona U-16 Academy team to the top of the U-15/16 Western Conference with a 16-2-2 record, qualifying them for the Academy playoffs. The RSL-Arizona U-16 Academy team is reigning U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy U-16 champions.
After the April camp, the U-18s will next assemble in May for the Lisbon International Tournament in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17 team finished first in Central Region qualifying for the 2013-14 Generation adidas Cup with a 4-1-0 record. The Generation adidas Cup is Major League Soccer’s annual elite youth tournament for U-17 academy teams. The Claret-and-Cobalt will now compete in a national event in April alongside other academy and international teams.
Here are a few interesting numbers from the five Generation adidas Cup qualifying matches.
Total number of goals scored by the RSL Academy team, which was the highest number of goals scored in Generation adidas Cup qualifying. FC Dallas was second with a total of nine goals.
The number of different players that scored for the Claret-and-Cobalt. RSL saw goals from FW Sebastian Saucedo, M/F Josh Doughty, M/F Diego Silva, FW Brooks Lennon, MF Terrell Lowe, MF Evan Waldrep, MF Tate Schmitt, D/F Miles Stray, FW Kris Fourcand and MF Tyler Feeley.
RSL notched the two highest goal scoring performances in Generation adidas Cup qualifying. Seven goals were scored against FC Dallas on February 14th and five were scored against Sporting Kansas City on October 14th.
The number of consecutive matches in which FW Sebastian Saucedo found the back of the net.
The Claret-and-Cobalt’s total goal differential, which was the highest in Generation adidas Cup qualifying.
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Real Salt Lake won the Generation Adidas Cup Central Region on Monday, with the Claret-and-Cobalt U-17’s defeating the Houston Dynamo U-17’s 4-1 at Grande Sports World in the final match of group play to qualify for the GA Cup’s final stage.
Monday’s win advanced the RSL U-17’s to the final stage of the GA Cup, which will take place in April. The RSL U-17’s will be pitted against two other MLS U-17 teams and a group of international teams in the final stage of the GA Cup.
RSL posted a 4-1-0 record in five GA Cup Central Region group stage matches, finishing atop the group that also featured U-17 squads from the Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City. The Claret-and-Cobalt outscored its opposition 21-7 in the group stage.
RSL got goals from four different players in the win over Houston on Monday. The Claret-and-Cobalt jumped out to an impressive start, with Josh Doughty tapping in a Sebastian Saucedo cross in the 11th minute to give RSL the lead.
RSL doubled their lead in the 50th minute, when Saucedo curled in a low free kick that hit the post and bounced in for his fourth goal in three matches. Doughty notched his fourth assist in three matches when he played to Kris “Haiti” Fourcand in the 72nd-minute. Fourcand then shifted to his right, dribbled into the box and scored RSL’s third goal.
RSL’s backline of: Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Miles Stray and Gavino Carranza along with central midfielder Danny Acosta held the Dynamo attack to a few shots and recorded their first shutout in GA Cup play.
It was announced today that Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy players MF Sebastian Saucedo and GK Christian Herrera have been called up to the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team to participate in the Copa del Atlantico in Las Palmas, Spain. The U.S. is making its first appearance in the esteemed international tournament that runs from Jan. 30-Feb. 8. The Americans will face Spain on Feb. 4, Argentina on Feb. 5 and the Canary Islands on Feb. 7.
Thirteen players out of the 18-player roster are currently registered with Academy teams, with four MLS Academies represented. The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy is the only Academy to have more than one player named to the U-18 squad.
The Claret-and-Cobalt’s MF Sebastian Saucedo and GK Christian Herrera were among the 24 players called into U.S. Under-18 MNT Head Coach Javier Perez’s January training camp in preparation for the tournament. Saucedo and Herrera have guided the RSL-Arizona U-16 Academy team to a 10-1-1 start through twelve league matches. Saucedo leads the team in scoring with ten goals while Herrera has earned eight clean sheets.