Grande Sports Academy, Casa Grande, AZ – Grande Sports World was the location for Saturdays match-up of Real Salt Lake – Arizona soccer academy against the visiting Chivas USA Academy U16 and U18 teams. Each team continues to develop a fierce rivalry as they compete in the Southwest Division of the United States Soccer Development Academy’s West Conference. The heat of the Arizona desert was the perfect place to see two of the conferences top teams lay their strikes from the pitch.
The first match of the day resulted in RSL-AZ and Chivas USA Academy U18 teams playing to a nil-nil draw. The aggressive play for possession over 90 minutes of match-play only provided a few opportunities for each squad. The RSL-AZ squad was without USSDA U16 2011-12 Player of the Year Jordan Allen and forward Andrew Brody. Brody will be sidelined for the next eight weeks due to a broken foot suffered in last weeks match against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Benji Lopez did return to the team from a month long absence after competing for the US U18 Mens National Soccer Team in Holland.
Real Salt Lake – AZ Soccer Academy U18 Team:
Cobos – Juarez, Seligman, Stadler, Burnett, Murillo, Hernandez, Lennon, Hyman, Navarro, Lopez. Subs: Bishov, MacVane, Tiraturyan, Nemeth, Chavez, Vasquez, Gavin.
Spectators attending the second game between the U16 squads witnessed screaming soccer balls streaming into a goal-fest match. Field play of both RSL-AZ and Chivas USA was evenly matched nil-nil until the 19th minute of the first half when Justen Glad headed a cross from Damian German for the first goal. Three minutes later RSL-AZ was up 2-nil on a penalty kick by forward Sebastian Saucedo. Moments later, Jason Eng delivered a beautiful cross which enabled Brooks Lennon to connect on a close range header for a 3-0 lead. Sebastian Saucedo in the traditional home red RSL-AZ jersey tagged his second goal of the day with a free kick before Chivas USA finally tallied a goal to make the score 4-1 before the half.
Pleased with the first half, RSL-AZ Director of Coaching Martin Vasquez, encouraged the team to continue its aggressive play on the opponents side of the field. Vazquez instructions were followed as Saucedo scored his hat-trick off a great combination play by the team and Josh Doughty’s goal in the 13th minute of the second half. Doughty’s goal came as he lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper from a high-quality ball placed by Fito Ovalle. With the score 6-1, Chivas USA added their second goal of the day on a defensive misque by RSL-AZ. Glad headed his second goal of the match as he out-jumped two Chivas USA players for the ball.
Real Salt Lake – AZ Soccer Academy U16 Team:
Bishov – Eng, Nino, Glad, Silva – German, Lopez, Ovalle, Lennon – Doughty – Saucedo. Subs: Barazza, Avram, Gayton, Knox, Rieland, Rodriguez, Ferguson.
The RSL-AZ U18 and U16 teams’ unbeaten streak remain intact during the first three home games of the season. RSL-AZ travels to San Diego, CA on October 13th to challenge the San Diego Surfs and the Nomads SC on October 14th. The next home game for RSL-AZ is scheduled for October 20th against the Portland Timbers.