RSL Youth Development Update - December 8, 2011

RSL-Arizona Academy wraps up Winter Academy play; Grande Sports World hosting RSL Pro Combine

REAL SALT LAKE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT UPDATE – DECEMBER 8, 2011

Real Salt Lake – Arizona Academy Wraps up Play in 2011 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase in Florida;

Winter Showcase Games Wrap up 2011 Portion of USSDA Calendar for Real Salt Lake – Arizona Academy;

RSL Technical Staff Heads to Casa Grande for this Weekend’s RSL Pro Combine

 

Real Salt Lake – Arizona Academy Wraps up Play in 2011 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase in Florida

Both the Real Salt Lake – Arizona Academy U-15/16 and U-17/18 sides wrapped up play in the 2011 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase on Monday in Lakewood Ranch, FL. The RSL-AZ U-15/16’s finished the showcase with a 1-1-1 record, highlighted by a 2-1 win over Weston FC (FL) on Saturday, while the U-17/18 squad finished 1-2-0, with its lone win coming against Weston FC as well. In this year’s edition of the annual winter event, teams from all 78 Development Academy clubs from around North America took part, playing a total of 234 games across five days of action.

Play got underway for RSL – Arizona on Friday, when the U-15/16 squad played to a 2-2 tie with Georgia United thanks to goals from Jordan Allen and Jose Navarro. Navarro would follow up with a brace the following day that powered the RSL-AZ U-15/16’s to a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Weston FC, as Navarro found the back of the net twice in a 10-minute window late in the contest. The two-goal performance not only gave RSL-AZ U-15/16 its only win of the event, but would make Navarro the side’s leading scorer in the competition. Despite the strong showing early, the U-15/16s would go on to fall 0-1 to fellow MLS youth academy side FC Dallas in their final match of the showcase on Monday.

As for the Real Salt Lake – Arizona U-17/18’s, the squad fell just shy of an opening victory against Georgia United last Friday by a final tally of 2-3, despite strikes from Danny Gavin and Carlos Garay. The team would go on to respond in a big way Saturday in a 5-2 victory over Weston FC thanks to a hat-trick by Maikon Orrellana as well as strikes from Junior Gbapou and Joshua Goss. Orrellana’s hat-trick would tie him with Navarro as the Academy’s leading scorer for the event. Just as the RSL-AZ U-15/16’s did, the U-17/18 side would come up just short in its final game of the showcase against FC Dallas, falling by a similar 0-1 scoreline.

The U-17/18 RSL – Arizona Academy team also saw three of its players participate in the 94-95 Academy Select Game over the weekend, as FW Jordan Allen, MF Andrew Brody and FW Benji Lopez were all chosen by the Development Academy scouting network, technical advisors and youth national team coaches to participate in the Academy-wide “All-Star” contest. The Select teams took center stage on Saturday night in front of U.S. Under U-17 Men’s National Team head coach Wilmer Cabrera and numerous other scouts and Development Academy Technical Advisors. After entering the match in the 27th minute, Lopez would help the Red squad even up the eventual 1-1 draw by scoring in the 61st minute. Allen would start and play the opening 40 minutes for the Blue squad, while Brody registered the final 40 minutes for the Reds alongside the goal-scorer Lopez.

The next contests for both the U-15/16 and U-17/18 sides will come in 2012, as Real Salt Lake – Arizona will play host to the Seattle Sounders FC Academy on January 21 at the Grande Sports Complex in Casa Grande, Ariz.

 

Winter Showcase Games Wrap up 2011 Portion of USSDA Calendar for Real Salt Lake – Arizona Academy

After starting the 2011-12 U.S. Soccer Development Academy campaign by going 6-0-0, the Real Salt Lake – Arizona U-15/16 squad currently boasts an unblemished record of 4-0-0 in the SoCal Division and an overall mark of 8-2-0 after winding down play for 2011 this past week in Florida. Heading into a month-and-a-half break in the schedule, the RSL-AZ U-15/16’s currently rank in the top five in the 78-team USSDA pool in points per game (2.27), with its only two losses across the first three months of play suffered via 1-0 scorelines against California Development Academy and FC Dallas. The RSL-AZ U-15/16’s will look to improve upon their impressive start in late January, when the team kicks off a busy slate of six games across five weeks with home contests against Seattle Sounders FC Academy (Jan. 21) and De Anza Force (Jan. 28) at the Grande Sports Complex in Casa Grande, AZ.

Despite posting an overall mark of 4-5-2 in 2011, the Real Salt Lake – Arizona Academy U-17/18’s remain unbeaten in division play, going 2-0-2 through their first four SoCal Division matches, highlighted by a 2-2 draw against the division-leading Chivas USA Academy and road wins over San Diego Surf and Nomads SC. The RSL-AZ U-17/18’s enter their break sitting four points back of Chivas USA and just two points behind the LA Galaxy Academy on the SoCal Division table. Similar to the U-15/16 squad, the U-17/18’s will be busy in the early portion of 2012, but the calendar will have a big circle around a Southern California road trip on March 31 and April 1, when RSL-AZ will get its crack at Chivas USA and the Galaxy on back-to-back days.

 

RSL Technical Staff Heads to Casa Grande for this Weekend’s RSL Pro Combine

Members of the Real Salt Lake Technical Staff are trading the chilly temps of the Wasatch Front for sun and warmth in Arizona this weekend, when Real Salt Lake and the Real Salt Lake – Arizona Academy will team up to host their second annual RSL Pro Combine at the Grande Sports World facility in Casa Grande, Ariz., starting tonight and lasting through Sunday. RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey and assistant coaches Jeff Cassar, Miles Joseph, and C.J. Brown will join RSL – Arizona Academy Technical Director and U.S. Men’s National Team First Assistant Coach Martin Vasquez during the four days to conduct training sessions and evaluate players in advance of the upcoming 2012 MLS/adidas Player Combine and MLS SuperDraft.

The goal of the RSL Pro Combine is to identify quality players who have flown under the radar for any number of reasons. Real Salt Lake and the Real Salt Lake – Arizona Academy take pride in their programs’ hard-work, character, and team-first mentality, and are looking for players that will mesh with these core philosophies. Last year’s RSL Pro Combine included several players that joined the professional ranks in America and beyond, including Real Salt Lake’s first Homegrown Player signing direct from the Real Salt Lake – Arizona Academy, M/F Nico Muñiz, and MLS SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft selections Drew Cost (Real Salt Lake/Rochester Rhinos), Bernardo Anor (Columbus Crew), Matt Marcin (Philadelphia Union/Puerto Rico Islanders) and Andrew Sousa (New England Revolution).

 

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