Frisco, TX (June 27th, 2013) – Going into the final game of group play at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs the Real Salt Lake U-18 team was playing for pride. Eliminated just two days before, in a heartbreaking draw, RSL were without a victory and the 12 seniors on the team wanted to end their careers on a positive note.
DC United had other plans, however, as they rallied late and scored two goals in the final eight minutes to seal the, 2-1, victory sending RSL home with a 0-2-1 record in group play.
In a move of respect, the coaches starting XI consisted of all seniors players: Cesar Cobos, Tigran Tiraturyan. Jonathan Stadler, Brandon Marquez, Isaias “Junior” Juarez, Jon Zabasajja, Luis Chavez, Jose “Bean” Vasquez, Andrew Brody, Benji Lopez, Coco Navarro.
The teams were both slow coming out of the gates initially but it was DCU who started to find holes within RSL’s midfield. A 16th minute slide tackle by Isaias “Junior” Juarez prevented a shot from the left-wing and a 19th minute stop by Jonathan Stadler prevented an open look in front the net. The U-18’s backline was playing well but the transition out of the back to the midfield to the forwards was non-existent as DCU kept the majority of the possession in RSL’s half.
RSL woke up near then end of the second half when Zabasajja started to moved forward with the ball. For the previous 40 minutes Zabasajja was providing help to the CB’s but once he got forward the offense attacked with purpose. Zabasajja had RSL’s first shot in the 37th minute Brody dribbled in from the wing on the touchline in the 40th minute, megging a defender, but was stopped just before he could cross it in to an unmarked RSL forward.
After the halftime break RSL made four changes. Corey Nemeth, Jose Hernandez, Luis “Wicho” Barraza and Damian German were subbed on for Junior, Vasquez, Cobos and Chaves
The offense continued to become more aggressive after this as Navarro and Lopez were receiving a lot of support. After a number of shots came in from RSL, Navarro broke the scoreless game in the 68th minute when a great buildup play out of the back from Nemeth and Santi Carrillo found Brody alone on the left-wing. He crossed it in, Navarro trapped the ball and slotted it far post.
RSL continued to press sending in more shots but the unfortunate happened in the 83rd minute when a pass back to the RSL ‘keeper took an awkward bounce and went high into the net. Seven minutes later a DC United forward stripped an RSL midfield of the ball and then charged at the net slotting the ball far post. The final whistle was blown moments later ending the game and the season for the RSL U-18 Academy Team.