CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – A late goal from Sam Gleadle preserved Real Salt Lake-AZ U-17/18’s undefeated match streak in a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders U-17/18 at the Grande Sports World on Saturday morning.
Seattle scored the go-ahead goal in the 74th-minute after a prolonged attack in RSL-AZ’s final third. The Claret-and-Cobalt’s defense failed to clear back-to-back crosses and on Seattle’s third attempt an unmarked player on the left-wing picked his head up and whipped in a cross that was deflected into RSL-AZ’s net.
This was the fourth match all year in which RSL-AZ trailed their opponent, and their response to the late deceit was an immediate attack with numbers in Seattle’s final third. The payoff occurred in the 82nd-minute when Te Wihongi attacked space down the right-wing and curled in a high free kick. Seattle’s goalkeeper mistimed the jump and wasn’t able to corral the cross. The ball slipped through his fingers and dropped to Sam Gleadle, who was just inches off the touchline. He lofted a shot over the onrushing Seattle defense and into the back of the net for his ninth goal in eight matches.
The draw ended RSL-AZ’s seven match winning streak, but extended their undefeated streak to nine matches.
Both academy teams jumped out of the gates with an aggressive start creating multiple chances on either end. The breakthrough for RSL-AZ occurred in the 28th-minute when Gui Leme intercepted a poor Seattle throw-in deep inside their own half. He passed to Damian German, who dribbled to the center of the pitch before he rifled a screamer from twenty-five yards out into the far post for his fifth goal on the season.
In a bizarre sequence six-minutes later, Seattle scored an equalizer when a curled free kick took a massive bounce in the box and caromed into the net. The ball did not touch any Seattle players while en route.
Seattle’s confidence grew after the goal and they maintained a strong grip on the flow of the match until the dying minutes of the first half. In the closing minute of the first half RSL-AZ countered when Seattle pushed too high. German lifted a ball over Seattle’s backline to Corey Baird, who charged at the net. He then chipped the goalkeeper, who ran off his line, but pushed the shot too wide as it hit the post and bounced out. A mirror image of this play occurred in the 90th-minute when Gleadle played a through ball to Baird. This time, Baird’s chip was too powerful as it sailed over the crossbar.
Real Salt Lake-AZ U-17/18’s will put their undefeated streak to the test this upcoming weekend in Los Angeles. They face Arsenal FC U-17/18 on Saturday, March 29th, at Riverside Community College with kickoff set for 10:00 AM PST. The following day RSL-AZ will square off against Real So Cal at Oak Park High School with kickoff set for 11:00 AM PST.
-Real Salt Lake-AZ Academy Match Report-
Match:Real Salt Lake-AZ U-17/18 vs. Seattle Sounders U-17/18
Date: March 22nd, 2014
Venue: Grande Sports World
Kickoff: 11:00 AM PT
|Real Salt Lake-AZ U-17/18||1||1||2|
|Seattle Sounders U-17/18||1||1||2|
RSL-AZ – Damian German (assist: Gui Leme) – 28th minute
Seattle – 34th minute
Seattle – 74th minute
RSL-AZ – Sam Gleadle – 80th minute
Real Salt Lake-AZ: Luis Barraza, Te Wihongi, Dillon Nino, Erik Holt, Grant Livingston, Luis Lopez, Gui Leme (Matthias Binder – 64), Jose Hernandez, Corey Baird, Damian German, Eric Carbajal (Sam Gleadle – 55)