Blog

Academy Update

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.

10 June 3:30 pm

The Real Salt Lake U-18′s & U-16′s recently closed out an extremely successful regular season that saw a number of academy records fall. Here are some interesting and notable numbers from the past season.

3

Real Salt Lake U-18′s & U-16′s have both qualified for the playoffs in three consecutive years.

8

In the season ending victory over Arsenal FC, Real Salt Lake U-18′s matched an academy best with eight goals in a game, previously done on May 19th, 2012 against Strikers FC.

68/34

The U-16′s set an academy best in goals scored and goals allowed this season. The 68 goals scored this season surpasses the previous high of 64 in 2010-2011, and the 34 goals allowed is the best since 38 in 2010-2011.

24

Represents the amount players who graduated from High School this year and will be moving into the collegiate ranks in the fall. Eight of these graduating seniors have been at the academy since the beginning: Jose “Coco” Navarro, Luis Chavez, Cesar Cobos, Eric Gonzalez, Isaias “Junior” Juarez, Jose “Bean” Vasquez, Danny Gavin and Jon Zabasajja.

1

When Carlos Salcedo came on as a sub in the 89th minute of RSL's 2-0 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps on May 4 at Rio Tinto Stadium, he became the first player from the academy to play for the Claret-and-Cobalt first team. 

19-5-4

The U-18′s set a new record for wins in a season along with lowering the academy record for losses and draws in a season. The previous high for wins was 16 in the 2011-2012 season, the previous low for losses was 8 in the 2010-2011 season and the 4 draws this season lowered the previous high of 5 the past 2 seasons.

20/45

Coco Navarro equalized a U-18 record of 20 goals in a season set by Maikon Orrellana in the 2010-2011 season. Navarro is now the sole leader in goals scored for the academy with 45 in three seasons.

61

The U-18′s set a new record for points in the season with 61, surpassing the previous high of 53 in the 2011-2012 season.

28

Dillon Nino started and played in 28 games this season, tied for the most in the nation with one other U-16 player.

57%

The percentage of the U.S. U-17 team's goals scored by RSL-AZ Academy U-16's Brooks Lennon and Sebastian “Bofo” Saucedo during last week's Caspian Cup. Lennon recorded two hat-tricks and scored a total of seven goals and Bofo recorded one hat-trick and scored a total of four goals. The U-17 MNT scored a total of 19 goals in the Cup.

03 June 1:17 pm

Once a week, RSL-Arizona Academy PR ace Garrett Cleverly will provide us with an update 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.

The Academy teams played their last games of the regular season this weekend, with the U-18’s turning in a dominant 8-2 win over Arsenal FC and the U-16’s tying the same side 1-1 at Grande Sports Academy on Saturday. Both the U-18’s and the U-16’s finished the regular season second in the Southwest Division.

Both the U-18’s and the U-16’s qualified for the USSDA Playoffs and Showcase, which will be held from June 24-28 at FC Dallas Park in Frisco, Texas. The draw for the Academy Playoffs is scheduled for Monday, June 17. The top sides from the Academy Playoffs will advance to U.S. Soccer’s Finals Week in Houston from July 14-20.

Three academy players were called up to the U.S. U-17 MNT for the 2013 Caspian Cup in Azerbaijan. Academy players Brooks Lennon and Bofo Saucedo starred in the U.S.’s 11-0 win over Kyrgyzstan last week, both notching hat tricks in the Stars-and-Stripes’ dominant victory.

GSA Exports is our newest feature. It's where we track the progress of our former players who are playing at the next level. Academy alums featured in MLS, the MLS Reserve League and in PDL over the last week. Read about them all here.

24 academy seniors graduated from high school last week. Click here for pictures and a write-up of the ceremonies. Also check out our "End of the Year" video, featuring shots of all the players, hilarious stories, interviews with coaches and a few goals we were able to capture.

Watch CB Jonathan Stadler defeat U-18 coach Freddy Juarez in soccer tennis.

Interested in becoming a RSL-AZ player? The last tryout for the upcoming season is June 7-9. Details here.

Looking for a soccer camp this summer? RSL-AZ will have camps running through July. Details here.  

22 May 10:05 am

Once a week, RSL-Arizona Academy PR ace Garrett Cleverly will provide us with an update 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.  
  • RSL-AZ U-18 forward Benji Lopez - who trained with the Claret-and-Cobalt first-team for two of its three preseason camps - was called up to the U.S. U-18 MNT for its 10-day trip to Portugal for the 19th annual International Juniors tournament.
  • The Real Salt Lake U-18's defeated Pateadores SC 4-1 on Saturday at Grande Sports Academy.  Click through for a full game recap and pictures from the match.
  • The Real Salt Lake U-16's had an even better go against Pateadores, beating the Southern California side 4-0 in Casa Grande on Saturday. Game recap and pictures.
  • Current Southwest Division standings for our U-16 and U-18 teams. Both teams are currently in second-place in their division and battling for overall playoff seeding. Click the link for more info on the standings and seeding. 
  • GSA Exports is our newest feature. It's where we track the progress of our former players who are playing at the next level. Academy alums featured in MLS, the MLS Reserve League and in PDL over the last week. Read about them all here.
  • RSL-AZ U-18 players Coco Navarro and Ive Burnett both featured in RSL's Reserve League loss at the Chivas USA Reserves on Monday, with Navarro playing the full 90 and Burnett coming on in the 23rd minute. Read about their performances here.
  • Interested in becoming a RSL-AZ player? You'll have your chance as Academy coaches will be in Utah May 24-25 holding tryouts. Details here.
16 May 11:59 am

Editor's Note: Once a week, RSL-Arizona Academy PR ace Garrett Cleverly will provide us with updates from the Academy. Garrett's first 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 Casa Grande youth program.