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Academy Update: Seven RSL-AZ Academy products called to US U-20 and U-18's

06 January 4:18 pm

Academy Update: Seven RSL-AZ Academy products called to US U-20 and U-18's

By Jane Sexton

Four Real Salt Lake Academy products were named last week to a 36-player roster for the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s training camp in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. RSL FW Benji Lopez and DF Jordan Allen, as well as RSL-AZ Academy grad and University of Louisville MF Andrew Brody and current RSL-AZ U-18 player and Stanford University commit MF Corey Baird will all participate in the team’s domestic training camp, which will run from Jan. 3-12.

Lopez, the fourth player to graduate from the RSL-Arizona Academy to the first-team, joined Real Salt Lake on July 17, 2013. The 18-year-old featured for the Real Salt Lake Reserves four times this year, scoring one goal in the Reserves’ 3-2 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves on July 16. Lopez began his stint in Casa Grande in the fall of 2011, excelling in the youth setup and helping lead RSL-AZ to strong finishes in both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.

Allen signed a Homegrown contract with RSL on Dec. 31, 2013, following the completion of a successful freshman season at the University of Virginia. Allen, 18, played at the Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy from August 2011-December 2012. The Rochester, N.Y. native was named the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy Player of the Year, USSDA Western Conference Player of the Year and earned a spot on the USSDA Starting XI Team of the Year for the 2011-2012 season. This past fall, Allen started all 24 of UVA’s matches, helping lead the Cavaliers to the 2013 NCAA College Cup Semifinal. A third-team All-ACC selection, an All-ACC Freshman Team selection and a second-team NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region Team pick, Allen had three goals and a team-high five assists for UVA from his spot in the midfield.

A University of Louisville freshman, Brody was a fixture for the Cardinals last season, playing and starting all 20 games and notching three goals and eight assists. The midfielder helped Louisville advance to the quarterfinal round of the 2013 NCAA College Cup. Brody played for the RSL-Arizona Academy team in 2012 and 2013, participated in last year’s RSL preseason camp and featured three times in 2013 for the Real Salt Lake Reserves.

Currently with the RSL-AZ U-18’s, Baird had been a fixture with the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team prior to this U-20 call up. Baird featured in all three matches for the U-18 national team in an international tournament in France last October. Baird will begin his college career next fall at Stanford.

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Three Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy players were among the 24 players called last week into the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team by head coach Javier Perez. RSL-AZ DF Justen Glad, M/F Sebastian Saucedo and GK Christian Herrera were all called up to Perez’s squad, which will train in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. from Jan. 4-11 ahead of next month’s Copa del Atlantico international tournament in the Canary Islands.

The Claret-and-Cobalt’s DF Justen Glad, M/F Sebastian Saucedo and GK Christian Herrera were among twenty-one out of the twenty-four players who currently play for a U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Nine MLS Academies are represented with Real Salt Lake receiving the most call-ups.

Glad, Saucedo and Herrera have guided the RSL U-16 team to a 8-1-1 start through ten league matches. Saucedo leads the team in scoring with eight goals while Herrera has earned seven clean sheets. Glad anchors a backline that has yet to concede a goal at home and has only surrendered four goals all season.