SARASOTA, Fla. – There were only two undefeated MLS U-18 Academy teams in the nation on Thursday morning and hours later one remained, as the New York Red Bulls U-18 bested the Real Salt Lake U-18 Academy team, 2-1, and snapped the Claret-and-Cobalt’s eight match unbeaten streak to start the season.
Two goals in quick succession by the NYRB in the second half eliminated what had been a near perfect start by RSL, which started with a 7th-minute beauty from Corey Baird when he dribbled through two defenders, nutmegged a third in the box and finished far post for his 4th goal in six matches.
As RSL looked to double their lead, the NYRB offense capitalized on a turnover in the RSL half and equalized the match in the 57th-minute and then captured the lead two minutes later. This was enough for the NYRB, who held on to the lead and reduced RSL’s chances to shots in traffic and outside of the 18 with stingy and team defensive play.
RSL’s best chance to equalize was in the 77th-minute when Sam Gleadle pounced on an opportunistic ball. He stripped the final defender, drove into the box and as taken down from behind before he could get a shot off. Baird stepped up and fired the penalty, but was thwarted by the NYRB goalkeeper, who failed to clear the ball. Baird ran up to finish the effort, and as he reached the ball he appeared to be clipped from behind, but the referee wasn’t interested and let play resume.
In the dying minutes RSL threw everything they had at the NYRB goal, but were thwarted on every transition.
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake U-18 Academy 1 0 1
New York Red Bulls U-18 0 2 2
RSL – Corey Baird – 7′
NYRB – 57′
NYRB – 59′
Real Salt Lake: Luis “Wicho” Barraza, Moises Rodriguez, Santi Carrillo, Erik Holt, Te Wihongi, Luis Lopez, Brooks Lennon, Jose Hernandez (Matthias Binder, 86′), Corey Baird, Eric Carbajal (Sam Gleadle, 54′), Damian German (Pato Yrizar, 80′)