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.
Find out how MLSsoccer.com's Matt Doyle and Nick Firchau see Saturday's Western Conference clash going. Give their Scouting Report preview a watch above
Real Salt Lake last met LA Galaxy on March 22 in its 2014 home opener at Rio Tinto Stadium, drawing 1-1 with the southern California side. But now the tables are turned and RSL will be facing the Galaxy on its home turf at StubHub Center for the second time this year. The Claret-and-Cobalt pulled off a 1-0 win in its season opener at LA on March 8. RSL will be looking to remain undefeated against the SoCal side in the regular season for just the third time in RSL history when they clash on Saturday.
The last meeting between the sides saw a beautiful half-volley scored by RSL forward Alvaro Saborio and a nice finish from LA forward Robbie Keane to top off an excellent individual effort. Saborio will be unable to do a repeat performance as he is still recovering from his foot injury, but that leaves room for one of the other Claret-and-Cobalt strikers to step up and deliver. Get pumped for tomorrow’s match by reliving RSL’s 2014 home opener.
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.
Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar sat down with Dunny last Friday to discuss the first half of the 2014 MLS season, the Claret-and-Cobalt’s busy July schedule and the return of U.S. internationals Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando. RSL went on to snap its five-game winless run, topping New England Revolution 2-1 in front of a sold-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium. Hopefully, things continue to go RSL’s way as it face a difficult road match at LA Galaxy on Saturday.
Check out the mid-year review interview below:
Get a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at the return of RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando to the club last Friday. The U.S. international duo started and played the full 90 minutes in the Claret-and-Cobalt's 2-1 win over New England Revolution on July 4, just one day after returning from Brazil.
Check out the great video below:
Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman and veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando returned to Salt Lake City last Thursday just in time to help lead the Claret-and-Cobalt to a much needed 2-1 win over New England Revolution the following day. The U.S. duo started and played a full 90 minutes just 24 hours after travelling over 6,000 miles from Brazil and spending almost two months with the U.S. preparing for and participating in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The return of two of RSL’s most important players was needed as the Claret-and-Cobalt finally snapped its five-game winless streak in MLS play as it heads into its final stretch of 2014.
Before Friday’s match v. New England, Beckerman and Rimando sat down with former RSL-man Brian Dunseth to share and give some insight into their World Cup experience. Check out the must-see interviews below.
Fan voting for the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game closes this Friday, July 11 at 11:00 a.m. MT. So that means RSL fans only have five more days to get as many Claret-and-Cobalt players as possible to Portland for the summer showcase against Bayern Munich. Seven RSL players are nominated (eight when including injured RSL forward Alvaro Saborio) all deserving of being named the best of MLS. Here are their 2014 highlight videos. Share and vote here!
Captain Kyle Beckerman:
Goalkeeper Nick Rimando:
Midfielder Javier Morales:
Defender Chris Schuler:
Defender Nat Borchers:
Defender Tony Beltran: