Frisco, TX (6-28-13) –In the most thrilling Real Salt Lake U-16 Academy game this season, both Brooks Lennon and Bofo Saucedo scored twice in a 6-3 victory over FC Dallas in the final group game to advance to Finals Week.
The day before, the U-18 team was unfortunately eliminated from playoffs but they kept their spirits high and sang, cheered and celebrated every goal with the U-16 team.
“Honestly, it was the support the U-18’s gave us during the game,” said Saucedo. “Cheering for us all game, making noise. We wanted to celebrate every goal with them.”
This marks the second time in the three-year history of the Real Salt Lake Academy that the U-16 team has advanced to Finals Week. The first in the inaugural season of 2010-2011.
“The U-18’s laid the foundation, time to pass the torch,” said coach Freddy Juarez. “Our seniors spoke to the U-16’s the night before and today they followed the game plan from the beginning. Got some early goals, which helps our confidence.”
RSL, needing a victory to advance, jumped out to a two goal lead in the opening minutes. Saucedo scored his first goal in the 2nd minute, assisted by Brooks Lennon, and his second in the 7th when he headed in a Diego Silva cross. RSL continued to attack with purpose and picked up their third goal in the 35th minute when Lennon dribbled into space from the right-wing and fired a left-footed shot near post.
As halftime approached, FC Dallas was able to fire one last shot that was punched out for a corner by ‘keeper Chase Bishov. The resulting corner kick dropped down inside the box and an FC Dallas player shot across the face of goal giving the game a bittersweet taste going into the half.
After the break FC Dallas started to turn up the pressure and looked as if they were going comeback in the game. RSL, however, were the team to grab the next goal in the 60th minute when Diego “Diablo” Silva scored his second goal of the playoffs, extending the lead back to three goals.
Whether it be a high potent offense that was averaging 4 goals per game in the playoffs or an RSL defense that was a little too slow, FC Dallas stormed back and scored two goals in quick succession. The first in the 66th minute from long throw and the second two minutes later when a low cross was headed in.
The game exploded after this. Fans on either side became quite loud and in the 75th minute RSL silenced the FCD supporters when Josh Doughty dribbled into the box, unmarked, and finished far post. Two minutes later Saucedo dribbled into the box and was taken down from behind for a straight red to the FCD player and awarded a PK. Lennon stepped up and scored his second in the game.
FCD hit the wall after this and never threatened again giving RSL a 6-3 victory.