Casa Grande, AZ (Sunday, January 28th, 2013) – In their first match in over six weeks all Real Salt Lake-AZ U18 needed was just one half before the rust wore away. After that RSL then scored 4 goals in the second half to overpower and defeat Nomads SC, 5-1, in Casa Grande, Arizona on Sunday morning.
“Always good to get that first win,” said assistant coach Freddy Juarez. “We challenged the guys in the first half but everything we preached before the game didn’t happen in the first half so we had to challenge the guys even more going into the second half.”
RSL’s first half performance had its ups and downs. RSL was able to penetrate the Nomads defense time and time again but poor decision-making in front of the goal resulted in nothing for their efforts. Benji Lopez had a strike from the 18 that was blocked, Coco Navarro played a beautiful through ball that just missed Lopez’s foot, Andrew Brody was able to continually outrun the defense but both his crosses missed their mark. Santi Carrillo then had an opportunity when a poor clearance by Nomads found him with the ball on top of the 18, but his shot went wide left.
The players persistence did eventually pay off for them when Tigran Tiraturyan started to find empty space on the left-wing. A beautiful cross by him found the head of a streaking Andrew Brody who put the ball into the back of the net with 5 minutes reaming in the half.
“It felt amazing. I haven’t been playing much because I broke my leg in the first semester and in one of my first games back to get a great goal like that it feels great,” Brody said. See that goal here.
“Coming into the game the coaches told me to get some crosses in,” Tiraturyan said after the game. “I’m very confident with my crossing and every time I had space and saw the player running in I crossed it.”
Going into the second half RSL’s attitude did a 180. The boys immediately looked more focused and as the whistle blew signaling the start, Coco Navarro passed the ball to Tiraturyan who kicked it up. Coco then pressured the CB who was blocking him so the Nomands GK could pick it up. A miscommunication by the Nomads then allowed Coco to pick up the loose ball which resulted in a goal. Just 20 seconds into the second half.
“My first goal was good,” Coco explained. “First half I didn’t do so well and coach Freddy challenged me and said you need to step it up a little and right off the bat I got the goal. He told me to make those runs and I did what he told me.”
After this the onslaught began. Brody, whose level of play seemed to improve every time he touched the ball, then dribbled into the box once again outrunning the Nomads defense passing the ball to a wide open Coco who then scored his second of the game.
In the 80th minute Benji Lopez officially joined the scoring sheet. He had two earlier goals but both were disallowed due to a off-sides call. Lopez took advantage of another cross and out-jumped the Nomads tall CB”s to extend to lead to 4-0.
Juraez then started to substitute players in and Kosta Kotselas found the back of the net when another cross came in. No one picked up on the loose ball and Kotselas sent a screamer into the net that beat the outstretched arms of the goalie.
Nomads did have a little fight left in them as they countered and scored on RSL as time experienced. The whistle was blown and RSL won 5-1.
Juarez summed up the game saying, “We played some guys who haven’t played in a while. We were lucky to get a comfortable lead to play other players. Tigran got a start today and he had an assist, a very good assist on the first goal. Cesar hasn’t played much because of a hamstringing problems and he got a full game today. It’s good to see guys respond when we have injuries, that shows depth on a team. Brody was the man of the match for me, consistent from beginning to end.”
Next game for RSL will be on Saturday, February 9th when they host Strikers FC at Grande Sports World