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:
The latest video in the Soccer Smarts with Professor Leo World Cup series takes a look at the semifinals. Argentina and the Netherlands will face each other in the second semifinal match today at 2:00 p.m. MT on ESPN. The winner of the match will face Germany - which defeated Brazil yesterday - in the final on Sunday.
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:
Real Salt Lake returns home on Friday, hosting Eastern Conference foe New England Revolution at Rio Tinto Stadium at 8:00 p.m. MT.
Here are a few storylines to watch ahead of Friday’s Independence Day match:
Will U.S. internationals, Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando return to the lineup?
Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando returned to the Utah club today after the U.S. bowed out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday. The U.S. was knocked out of the tournament after suffering a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Belgium in extra time in its Round of 16 match.
Real Salt Lake has missed Beckerman and Rimando dearly, going 1-3-2 in MLS in their absence. The Claret-and-Cobalt also fell 2-1 at Atlanta Silverbacks in the club’s opening U.S. Open Cup match on June 14.
The duo's status is still unclear ahead of Friday's match, with both players likely struggling with the quick turnaround from Brazil. If Beckerman and Rimando don't start on Friday, a sold-out Rio Tinto Stadium will still be there to welcome home two of its greatest players.
Can RSL break its winless streak on Friday?
Real Salt Lake is now winless in its last five MLS matches, and six across all competition including the Claret-and-Cobalt’s loss in U.S. Open Cup play. RSL enters Friday’s match on a three-game losing streak across all competition, falling 3-1 at home to Portland on June 7, suffering a 2-1 defeat at Atlanta in the U.S. Open Cup on June 14 and most recently falling 1-0 at Chivas USA on June 28. RSL got off to a great start in 2014, going undefeated for its first 12 games. Hopefully, the Claret-and-Cobalt can return to its winning ways on Independence Day.
Real Salt Lake will look to improve its Independence Day record
RSL will look to improve its rather meager record in Independence Day matches on Friday. The July 4th match will be the Claret-and-Cobalt’s ninth game on the summer holiday in Utah, with RSL posting a 1-1-7 record. RSL and New England Revolution have also met before on Independence Day, playing to a 3-3 draw in 2011 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake undefeated against New England since 2010
The Claret-and-Cobalt has done well against New England in the past four years, going undefeated against the Revs ever since 2010. RSL has recorded four wins and one draw in that time frame. In 2010, RSL thrashed New England 5-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium and then won 2-1 on the road later that year. The Claret-and-Cobalt went on to defeat the Revs 2-0 on the road and draw 3-3 at home the following year. In their yearly meetings in 2012 and 2013, RSL pulled off 2-1 wins in both encounters.
Salt Lake City showed up in a big way on Tuesday, with over 6,000 Utahns packing downtown's Gallivan Center for the USA v. Belgium match. The show of support for the U.S. Men's National Team was tremendous and solidified that fact that Salt Lake City and Utah as a whole, is a hotbed for soccer. A huge thank you for all the fans that showed up to cheer on the USA and RSL.
Here's video of SLC going crazy after Julian Green scored for the U.S. in extra time:
The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-16’s and U-18’s wrapped up the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs last week, with the U-16’s advancing to the quarterfinals while the RSL-AZ U-18’s were eliminated from postseason play.
The RSL-Z U-16’s – reigning U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Champions – finished at the top of their group with a 2-0-1 record and total of six points, earning first-place based on goal differential. The U-16’s opened group play with a 3-1 victory over New Jersey Soccer Academy 04 all thanks to a hat trick from Claret-and-Cobalt FW Sebastian Saucedo. The youngsters then went on to defeat Georgia United 5-2, powered by another hat trick from Saucedo, and finished the week off with a 2-0 loss to St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri. The RSL-AZ U-16 squad will look to retain their title, hosting its quarterfinal match at home in Casa Grande, Arizona on either July 7 or 9. The exact date, time and opponent will be announced at a later date.
The RSL-AZ U-18’s did not fare as well as their younger counterparts, finishing second in their group with a 1-1-1 record and total of four points. Seattle Sounders FC U-18’s finished first with a perfect 3-0-0 record to advance to the quarterfinals. The RSL-AZ U-18’s opened up group play with a 1-1 draw against Indiana Fire and went on to earn three points with a 4-3 win over Concorde Fire. In the final group stage match, needing a win to advance to the quarterfinals, the RSL-AZ U-18’s fell 3-1 to Seattle after taking the lead early in the second half. The RSL-AZ U-18’s finished the regular season with an 18-4-5 record, the best record in history for a U-18 team at Grande Sports World.