Blog

Academy Update

06 September 9:37 am

RSL-Arizona Academy PR ace Garrett Cleverly will provide us with periodic updates from the Casa Grande Academy. Garrett's latest update is below - Follow him and the Grande Sports Academy on Twitter and check the Grande Sports Academy blogFacebook page and Instagram for all the latest info on RSL's youth development program.

GSA Exports is a regular feature where we track the progress of our former players who are playing at the college and professional levels. Here is a list of eight players who are playing professionally in five different countries and here is another list of over 40 academy graduates who combined to score four goals and assist on eight goals in the first week of college soccer.

The Real Salt Lake U-16 & U-18 Elite teams competed in their first tournament of the 2013-14 season. Recap of the 2013 North Huntington Beach Cup for the U-18 Elite team and a recap for the U-16 Elite team.

Real Salt Lake called up four academy players for their Reserve League match against Portland Timbers last Saturday. Each player saw some minutes in the match and impressed in their brief appearances.

Meet the newest residency players in our introduction Q & A. Part 1 and part 2.

Former GSA graduate Mikey Orellana is looking to put injuries behind him as he enters his first professional season with historic Danish club Brondby IF.

Four academy players were invited to participate in a U.S. Soccer National Combine from August 9-13 at Nike’s World Headquarters in Portland.

30 July 2:43 pm

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy has announced August tryout dates for players born in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 years.

The tryouts will be held from Friday, Aug. 9th to Sunday, Aug. 11th at the Grande Sports Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona.

Real Salt Lake sets the standard for imaginative, efficient soccer and the Grande Sports Academy/Real Salt Lake – Arizona teams run with the same philosophy. Soccer tryout are scheduled throughout the year to join the Real Salt Lake-AZ family.

As a member of the Real Salt Lake-Arizona family you will train like a professional, while developing your game in the US Soccer Development Academy system, the highest level of youth soccer in the United States.

We seek young student-athletes who want to be the best they can be. With exposure to many professional and college soccer coaches, our goal is to help you meet your soccer and academic dreams.

For more information on tryouts please contact:

Phone:  877.909.9777 | email: academy@grandesports.com | Complete the application by clicking here

22 July 1:27 pm

The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-16's won the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy Championship on Saturday, defeating Dallas-based Solar Chelsea 4-2 to take home RSL-AZ's first title. 

After the match, the players celebrated on the field by signing the "Believe" anthem. Video above. 

17 July 12:53 pm

HOUSTON - The Real Salt Lake U-16 Academy team dropped its second group game in Finals Week to the Houston Dynamo 1-0 at the Houston Amateur Sports Park on Tuesday night.

Picture gallery from the game here

Real Salt Lake is not eliminated with the loss, but the team has lost control of the group. For Real Salt Lake to advance to the championship game on Saturday, they need to beat Texans SC, and the Dynamo need to lose or draw with Albertson SC. Both games will be played on Thursday night.

The Houston Dynamo earned a foul just 58 seconds into the match, and converted the free-kick moments later when it was perfectly placed in the upper right corner.

RSL shook off the early deficit and started to attack, but the movements lacked purpose and at times were a little sloppy before another stroke of luck happened. For the second consecutive game, officials stopped the match due to a lightning storm that passed over the field. The 77 minute delay allowed RSL coaches to reorganize the team and it showed once the game was back up and running.

RSL earned a penalty in the 29th minute when Damian German was taken down in the box. Moises Rodriguez stepped up and hit the post on the ensuing spot-kick. 

After the halftime break the Dynamo looked to extend their lead and had their second shot of the game in the 41st minute that went wide right. RSL then earned a free-kick seven minutes later from a dangerous spot in front of the net. Bofo Saucedo stepped up and sent in a curling shot that was saved by the Dynamo goalkeeper.

Because RSL had to push players forward to equalize, the defense at times became exposed. There were two nerve-racking moments in the second half that could have been called for penalties against RSL. The first was in the 55th minute and the second in the 64th. Both times the ref was uninterested in the pleas coming from the Dynamo bench.

As the game continued RSL had chances but could not get a clean look on the net. Three different headers were saved by the Dynamo goalkeeper and the next best chance on goal - a free-kick from Brooks Lennon - was saved again in the closing minutes.

RSL sent players forward in stoppage time, but it was not enough as the Dynamo outlasted them.

Next game for RSL will be against Texans SC on Thursday night. Kickoff at 5:30 p.m. MT.

15 July 9:31 am

Houston - The Real Salt Lake U-16 Academy team benefited from two lightning delays and rolled to a 3-1 victory over Albertson SC in the first group game of Finals Week on Sunday.

Picture gallery from the game here

Both delays came in the second half, and for Real Salt Lake they couldn’t have had come at a better time. Before the first break, Albertson SC had equalized in the 60th minute and was riding a wave of momentum. The 17 minute delay crushed their spirit and RSL capitalized on this with the go-ahead goal in the 70th minute from Jose Hernandez. The second break came in the 79th minute for an extended period of 74 minutes. The break was detrimental once again to Albertson SC as RSL emerged the stronger side and scored an insurance goal in the 83rd minute when Bofo Saucedo chipped the goalkeeper from 30 out.

“I definitely think the first lightning break was a lucky break for us,” said captain Jason Eng. “They just tied it up and the momentum was with them,so we got a little lucky with the first break. The second one was the longest. Coach Mike did a good job and so did athletic trainer Marshall who kept us loose and made sure we stayed mentally prepared for the last bit.”

The mood around the team was reserved after the victory, as players and coaches knew the performance they showed tonight wouldn’t cut it in the next game.

“Overall not the best. Maybe similar to playoffs, but not the best start,” said assistant coach Freddy Juarez. “If it’s anything that indicates how the playoffs are, we hopefully will get gradually better as we go on in the tournament. Our style is possession and I don’t think we had too much of the ball today. It was difficult with the opponent we had, but overall we had 3 goals so that worked.”

With three points in hand, Real Salt Lake now sits at the top of Group 1. In the other group game, the Houston Dynamo played Texans SC to a scoreless draw.

Albertson SC came out of the gates and played a very high line with offensive pressure on every RSL defender. This caused numerous breakdowns in transition for RSL who wouldn’t get a handle on the game. However, even with their efforts, it took Albertson SC 18 minutes before they had their first shot that sailed well over the crossbar.

The near-miss woke up the RSL offense. They started to attack with purpose, stretched the field and held possession. Hernandez had RSL’s first shot in the 21st minute, but he pushed the ball wide left.

Eleven minutes later Fito Ovalle collected a ball in the middle and played a diagonal through ball to Diego “Diablo” Silva who was playing left midfield for the third time in the playoffs. He collected the ball on the 18, took a touch and chipped the goalkeeper for his third goal in the past four games.

“I feel great because since I have been playing up every game and I’ve been scoring,” said Silva. “I’m happy to get three points and happy to get my team to the top.”

After the goal RSL dropped the pace. Albertson SC took advantage of this and turned up the heat in front of the RSL goal. RSL goalkeeper Chase Bishov made two big stops in the 46th minute and 48th minute. Another save by Bishov in the 71st minute kept RSL up and goal and a 72nd minute substitution that brought on Evan Waldrep for Silva worked wonders.

Waldrep was aggressive, fast and most importantly made clean passes, never turning the ball over. Damian German had a look in the 74th minute, but his shot was saved. After the final delay, RSL’s defense came up big and absorbed the Albertson SC pressure which resulted in the counter that Saucedo scored.

Next game for RSL is against the Houston Dynamo on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. MT.

10 July 9:52 am

RSL-Arizona Academy PR ace Garrett Cleverly will provide us with periodic updates from the Casa Grande Academy. Garrett's latest update is below - Follow him and the Grande Sports Academy on Twitter and check the Grande Sports Academy blogFacebook page and Instagram for all the latest info on RSL's youth development program.

25 June 2:05 pm

The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-18's and U-16's are both in Dallas this week for the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy Playoffs. Garrett Cleverly is on-site in Texas with RSL-AZ and will be providing regular updates on the teams through the conclusion of the playoffs on Friday. 

FRISCO, Texas - The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-18's dropped its opening game of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs, 2-1, to St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri on Monday night. 

Picture gallery here

Down a goal with five minutes remaining, RSL subbed in Te Wihongi and it paid off moments later, when Wihongi crashed into the box and headed in the equalizing goal from a Isaias "Junior" Juarez cross. The celebration was short-lived, however, as St. Louis stormed back up the field after the restart and scored the game winning goal in stoppage time from a looping shot outside of the 18.

With the loss, RSL is not eliminated in the playoffs but need some help from the other teams in their group to remain alive. If St. Louis win another game, RSL will be eliminated from the playoffs.

St. Louis came out aggressive and strong in the opening minutes of the game. RSL's Corey Nemeth had a goal saving kick save in the 11th minute and 'keeper Cesar Cobos stopped a 1-v-1 in the 20th. RSL settled down a bit, but their opportunities in front of the goal were limited to shots from outside of the 18 and from the wing. RSL's best chance was in the 33rd minute when Andrew Brody countered and played a through ball to Benji Lopez. His turned and fired a shot that tailed just high. Cobos made another 1-v-1 save with minutes remaining to keep the game scoreless going into the half.

RSL made three subs during the halftime break and moved Jon Zabasajja back to CB. This proved to be vital as Zabasajja became a wall in the back, winning almost every header and making a key stop in the 60th minute when a St. Louis attacker broke free after Cobos came out for a tackle. The player took a shot and Zabasajja made a goal line stop to keep the game scoreless.

RSL's luck ran out in the 69th minute when a St. Louis player broke free. RSL defenders moved up for the offside trap but a well-timed run by the St. Louis player put him in behind, rounding Cobos and slotting the ball home to put RSL behind. RSL continued to struggle connecting the ball but found the break when Wihongi scored in the 86th minute.

St. Louis pushed forward after RSL's equalizer, finding the winner in second-half stoppage time. An ill-timed switch by the RSL defense gave a St. Louis player an open look, allowing him to chip the ball over the head of a leaping Cobos. RSL had one final chance but a low cross was easily cleared giving St. Louis the 2-1 victory.

The RSL U-18's next game is on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. MT against the CASL Chelsea FC Academy. The U-16's kickoff their playoff slate at 6:15 p.m. MT against FC DELCO.

24 June 2:08 pm

The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-18's and U-16's are both in Dallas this week for the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy Playoffs. Garrett Cleverly is on-site in Texas with RSL-AZ and will be providing regular updates on the teams through the conclusion of the playoffs on Friday. 

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs kickoff Monday night for the Real Salt Lake U-18 Academy team and on Tuesday for the U-16's. For the first time in Academy history, the U18's enter the playoffs as the top-seeded team in their group. The U16's head into the week as the second-seed in their group. 

Thirty-two teams qualified for the playoffs. The teams are divided into eight groups of four, with every team facing off once against each of the other three teams in their group. The group winners will advance to U.S. Soccer's Finals Week in Houston from July 14-20. 

Real Salt Lake is one of just six teams to have their U-18's and U-16's qualify for the playoffs in each of the past three years. 

See below for a full breakdown of RSL's group opposition and a full schedule for the week: 

U-18 Group Breakdown and Schedule:

 

Overall Playoff Seed

GP

W

L

T

PTS

GF

GA

PTS/G

Real Salt Lake

#7

28

19

5

4

61

73

35

2.18

DC United

#9

25

17

6

2

53

72

29

2.12

CASL Chelsea FC Academy

#17

25

14

7

4

46

37

28

1.84

St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri

WC #11

27

14

9

4

46

50

31

1.70

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous results for the U-18's:

2011-2012: RSL finished second in its group with a 2-1-0 record. 
2010-2011: RSL finished second in its group with a 2-1-0 record. 

Schedule

Mon., June 24
Real Salt Lake vs St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri  - 8:15 p.m. MT at FC Dallas Sports Park Field #15

Tues., June 25
Real Salt Lake vs CASL Chelsea FC Academy - 8:30 p.m. MT at FC Dallas Sports Park Field #15

Thurs., June 27
Real Salt Lake vs DC United - 10:00 a.m. MT at FC Dallas Sports Park Field #15

U-16 Group Breakdown and Schedule:

  Overall Playoff Seed GP W L T PTS GF GA PTS/G

FC Dallas

#3

27

21

4

2

65

70

18

2.41

Real Salt Lake

#14

28

17

6

5

56

68

34

2.00

FC DELCO

WC #4

25

14

7

4

46

47

29

1.84

Sockers FC

WC #9

27

13

7

7

46

39

22

1.70

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous results for the U-16's:

2011-2012: RSL finished second in its group with a 2-1 record.
2010-2011: RSL won its group with a 2-1-0 record. In Finals Week the U-16's finished second in its group with a 1-0-2 record, eventually winning third-place by beating Real So Cal in penalties. Click here for video of that third-place victory.

Schedule:

Tues., June 25th
Real Salt Lake vs FC DELCO - 6:15 p.m. MT at FC Dallas Sports Park Field #12

Wed., June 26th
Real Salt Lake vs Sockers FC - 8:00 p.m. MT at FC Dallas Sports Park Field #9

Fri., June 28th
Real Salt Lake vs FC Dallas - 10:00 a.m. MT at FC Dallas Sports Park Field #7

19 June 3:00 pm

Really cool video from RSL-Arizona Academy U-18 player Trevor Hyman, who used a GoPro camera to take us inside life at Grande Sports Academy. 

Hyman filmed his journey to Casa Grande from his home in Southern California, a few RSL-AZ training sessions and some footage from the roof of the Academy dorm. It's a really great look at life at the RSL-AZ Academy - definitely worth a watch. 

Hyman and the RSL-AZ U-18's will begin their run in the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy Playoffs next Monday in Dallas. The Claret-and-Cobalt enter the playoffs as the top seed in their group, which includes St. Louis Scott Gallagher-Missouri, CASL Chelsea FC Academy and D.C. United. Each playoff team has a chance to qualify for USSDA's Finals Week, which will be held from July 14-20 in Houston. 

Hyman will join Stanford University's soccer team this fall. Give him a follow on Twitter @trevorhyman8.

13 June 3:59 pm

RSL-Arizona Academy PR ace Garrett Cleverly will provide us with periodic updates from the Casa Grande Academy. Garrett's latest update is below - Follow him and the Grande Sports Academy on Twitter and check the Grande Sports Academy blogFacebook page and Instagram for all the latest info on RSL's youth development program.