Blog

Academy

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.

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.

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.

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.