Grande Sports Academy home of Real Salt Lake Arizona will be entering its 4th year in the Fall. With many players leaving for college, the Academy is always looking for the next generation of players who will be donning an RSL kit. In the video below hear from players Andres Irigoyen, Andrew Brody, Eric Gonzalez, Brandon Marquez, Cesar Cobos, Jaime Payamps and Jonathan Stadler as they tell you why they came to the Academy and how it has made them better players. Coach Freddy Juarez also talks about the philosophy and teaching as the Academy. Director of Recruiting Miha Kline talks about the facility and RA Lauren Crum talks about the academic side.
The final regular season game for the Real Salt Lake U18’s & U16’s was this past weekend vs Arsenal FC. The U18’s needed a victory and some help to win the Southwest Division and the U16’s needed any points to secure the best possible playoff seeding. Below is the recap, pictures and video of a goal from the U18’s.
RSL U18 vs Arsenal U18
Starting XI: Luis Barraza (71′), Corey Nemeth, Jonathan Stadler, Santi Carrillo, Tigran Tiraturyan (65′), Andrew Brody (75′), Jon Zabasajja (46′), Jose Hernandez, Jose “Bean” Vasquez (75′), Coco Navarro, Amer Sasivarevic (73′)
Bench: Haedan Turner (75′), Miguel Martinez (71′), Kostas Kotselas (46′), Isaias “Junior” Juarez, Brandon Johnston (73′), Te Wihongi (65′), Eric Gonzalez (75′)
It took Real Salt Lake U18’s 44 minutes to find the back of the net and once they did the onslaught was on. A season high eight goals were scored in the season finale against Arsenal FC at Grande Sports World. RSL finishes the season 19-5-4 for a second place finish in the Southwest Division, the highest finish in the three-year history for the academy.
After being down a goal for the majority of the half RSL equalized in the 45th minute when an Arsenal player was shown a second yellow for a vicious tackle from behind which sent him off. Tigran Tiraturyan stepped up and converted the free kick. Moments later RSL pressured the Arsenal backline which created a turnover. Coco Navarro found himself alone in the box and scored RSL’s second of the match.
One change at the half brought Kostas Kotselas into the game for Jon Zabasajja. His presence was felt 44 seconds later when he doubled RSL’s lead. Amer Sasivarevic scored the next 2 goals giving him 6 in 8 games. Te Wihongi entered the game before Sasivarevic’s second goal and created numerous defensive problems for Arsenal on the left side. In the 70th minute Wihongi sent in a low cross which lead to a blocked Navarro shot. Seconds later Wihongi made the same run again and sent in the low cross. This time Navarro would not be denied giving him his second goal in the game and his 20th on the season.
RSL’s 7th goal was scored by Kotselas from an Andrew Brody cross and second half substitute Eric Gonzalez broke free on the left-wing and beat the goalie near post for the final goal. It was Gonzalez’s first goal for the academy in the three years at GSA.
RSL did concede 2 goals in the game. The first was in the 10th minute when Arsenal countered and the second a remarkable shot. After Sasivarevic’s first goal, on the restart, an Arsenal player took a shot from halfway and scored a spectacular goal.
With the victory RSL’s U18’s finished in second place. They are tied with the LA Galaxy on points but the Galaxy have a better goal differential giving them the Division crown. RSL also looks like they have secured a pot #1 draw in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs which will be drawn on June 17th.
RSL U16 vs Arsenal U16
Starting XI: Christian Herrera, Moises Rodriguez, Luis Lopez, Dillion Nino, Jason Eng, Jack Gayton (56′), Fito Ovalle, Evan Waldrep (72′), Diego Silva, Josh Doughty, Damian German.
Bench: Bayley Scholz, Alex Knox (56′), Miles Stray (72′), Adam Ferguson, Nate Deaton
Real Salt Lake U16’s already secured second place in the Southwest Division and needed one last strong showing to remain in the second pot for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs. A 1-1 draw with Arsenal FC may not seem like the ideal result but the one point secured in this game will keep RSL in the second pot.
By remaining in the second pot, RSL will avoid having to play tougher competition in group play.
RSL started off well scoring in the 20th minute when Damian German pounced on a loose ball in the box but an unfortunate defensive miscue 5 minutes into the second half saw Arsenal equalize the game.
Chances in the game were limited for both sides due to the strong defensive performances. RSL’s defense lead by Dillion Nino and Jason Eng were active early blocking Arsenal shots and cutting off Arsenal attacks. Eng also started RSL’s most dangerous attack in the 30th minute when he and Josh Doughty connected for a quick counter up the right-wing. Doughty laid it off to Evan Waldrep who’s shot was deflected out.
After Arsenal’s goal, Damian German produced RSL’s final 2 chances. In the 48th minute he chipped the ‘keeper but put a little too much on the ball as it sailed over the crossbar. His last chance came in the 65th minute when his shot from the side was saved by the Arsenal ‘keeper who had to lay out.
Arsenal had one final chance but were once again stopped by Nino who had a stellar performance in the regular season finale. RSL closes out the season W17-L6-D5 and finished in second place in the Southwest Division, the highest finish in franchise history.
Once per month Grande Sports Academy players participate in a local community service project. In February, players cleaned up a local park. In March, players visited the Boys & Girls Club and in the following month they invited the Boys & Girls Club to the Academy. When our players participate in these projects it is usually just a small group, however this month was a little different.
Forty-three of our players visited three Elementary Schools on Friday morning. Our players became coaches for the day and led the participants through drills, shooting exercises and games. As with every community service project our players enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to share the game they love so much. The schools players visited were: Mesquite Elementary School, Cactus Middle School and Desert Willow Elementary School.
Player who participated: Patricio Cevallos, Christian Herrera, Luis Barraza, Jaime Payamps, Bayley Scholz, Elias Rieland, Terreel Lowe, Miles Stray, Fito Ovalle, Jason Eng, Brandon Johnston, Amer Sasivarevic, Luis Chavez, Moises Rodriguez, Andrew Brody, Eric Gonzalez, Javi Avelar, Jack Gayton, Trevor Hyman, Aaron Herrera, Diego Silva, Nicholas LaMonica, Elijah Evans, Kostas Kotselas, Jose Hernandez, Te Wihongi, Brandon Marquez, Cesar Cobos, Tevin Lowe, Trent Lowe, Corey Nemeth, Octavio Ocampo, Renzo Perez, Brandon Sands, Chandler Maynes, Jonathan Min, Radu Marcu, Alex Knox, Haedan Turner, Andres Irigoyen, Josh Coan, Nick Reyes, Tigran Tiraturyan, Coco Navarro.
Special thanks go to RA’s Lauren Crum and Chris Braybooks who set up the event.
Heading into the weekend, RSL U18 & U16 Elite teams both had an opportunity to advance to the quarterfinals of the Arizona State Cup. Below are the recaps from each game.
RSL U18 Elite vs Fusion FC
Starting XI: Danny Gavin, Radu Marcu, Jaime Payamps, Aidan Tucker, Ishan Atit, AJ Esparza, Elijah Evans, Eric Gonzalez, Albert Molina, Kaleb Goodman, Brandon Johnston
Bench: Tyler Buckley
Going into this game RSL U18 Elite had to defeat Fusion FC by any margin and they would advance to the quarterfinals on Sunday.
Sixteen minutes into the game this task became even harder when Fusion FC scored the opening goal. Nine minutes later Fusion scored their second goal when RSL’s defense was caught out of position. RSL continued to put up a fight even though they were down early. Brandon Johnston showed some incredible pace of the wings beating three defenders before his cross was cleared out. Danny Gavin was physical in the midfield forcing many turnovers and creating chances for RSL.
However, even with all the hard work Fusion FC were able to grab another goal before the half and then another in the 51st minute.
RSL did answer back two minutes later when Eric Gonzalez created some space for himself on the wing for a cross. Tyler Buckey headed the ball into the ground before it took a bounce off the pitch and into the net. RSL continued to fight and had a much better showing in the second half but failed to connect in the final third which ultimately doomed them.
The final whistle blew ending RSL U18 Elite’s season with a, 4-1 defeat. Above is the 2012-2013 Elite team. A few of our players will be graduating and going to college in the fall and we wish them the best of luck going forward! Click the picture twice to see it bigger.
RSL U16 Elite vs Sereno
Starting XI: Miles Stray, Miguel Martinez, Brandon Sands, Danny Moreno, Duncan Storey, Nate Deaton, Aaron Herrera, Trent Lowe, Terrell Lowe, Patricio Cevallos, Octavio Ocampo
Bench: Tevin Lowe, Jonathan Min, Josh Coan, Nick Reyes, Nick LaMonica, Renzo Perez, Javi Avelar
For the RSL U16 Elite team to advance to the quarterfinals a few things needed to happen. If RSL defeat Sereno and CCV Stars lose or draw they advance. If RSL defeat Sereno and CCV Stars win, RSL has to defeat Sereno by 3 goals. If RSL lose they are out regardless of the CCV Stars outcome.
In less than 36 seconds after the whistle blew to start the game RSL found themselves down a goal when a shot was deflected into a danger zone by GK Miguel Martinez. RSL’s defense didn’t clear and Sereno scored. One more minute after this Sereno scored again, greatly hurting RSL’s chances. In the CCV Stars game being played at the same time in a field next to the RSL game they were up 1-0 going into the half and RSL was down 2-0 at the half.
RSL’s U16 fought hard in the second half but just could not really get anything going. Aaron Herrera had the best chance in the 62nd minute but both of his shots were blocked. Time expired with RSL losing, 2-0, and eliminated from Arizona State Cup ending their season.
RSL U18 vs San Diego Surf U18
Starting XI: Luis Barraza, Corey Nemeth, Santi Carrillo, Kostas Kotselas, Amer Sasivarevic, Trevor Hyman, Andrew Brody, Jose “Bean” Vasquez, Tigran Tiraturyan, Coco Navarro
Bench: Aidan Tucker, Benji Lopez, Jaime Payamps, Brandon Johnston, Eric Gonzalez, Luis Chavez, AJ Esparza
Summary – After coming off of a successful weekend in Seattle where they earned 4 points, RSL U18’s were eager grab 3 more points to help increase their lead in the Southwest Division.
RSL came out aggressive early on and almost grabbed the lead in the 4th minute when Coco Navarro’s shot went just wide of the net. Three minutes later Andrew Brody beat a defender down the line and sent in a low cross to a waiting Kostas Kotselas. A Surf defender slid for the ball and accidentally kicked it into his net for an own goal.
The game started to look like RSL could run away with it early but the Surf help their own on defense. RSL continued to pound the Surf goal and were unfortunate to not come up with more goals. Andrew Brody had a shot from the 18 blocked. Corey Nemeth took a shot that went wide and Amer Sasivarevic had back-to-back shots saved by the Surf GK.
In the 52nd minute RSL’s persistence paid off when Jonathan Stadler kicked the ball up to Kostas Kotselas. He trapped the ball and laid it off to Trevor Hyman. Hyman took a shot that went across the face of goal hitting the post. The ball took a fortunate rebound and went right back to Hyman who finished giving RSL a 2-0 lead.
The Surf reacted positively and were able to grab a goal on a counter attack in the 56th minute. RSL calmed down after the goal and the only other chance for the Surf happened in the 68th minute when RSL LB Corey Nemeth chased down a counter attack. With the lead RSL passed the ball around and were under no pressure by the Surf who didn’t challenge players or passes. RSL continued to pass around and cruised to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Surf.
Starting XI: Brooks Lennon, Fito Ovalle, Dillion Nino, Josh Doughty, Luis Lopez, Chase Bishov, Bofo Saucedo, Damian German, Diego Silva, Moises Rodriguez, Jason Eng
Bench: Nate Deaton, Jack Gayton, Aaron Hererra, Miguel Martinez, Albert Molina, Elias Rieland, Evan Waldrep
Summary – After suffering back-to-back losses in Washington RSL needed 3 points to keep pace with the leaders in the Southwest Division.
RSL started out quickly moving the ball around well and pressuring the Surf defense. Only issue for RSL was they couldn’t finish their opportunities. A offisdes call in the 13th minute negated an impressive counter attack. A misfired shot by Fito Ovalle in the 17th minute just went over the crossbar. As RSL missed their chances, Surf players started to gain confidence.
In the 22nd minute a Surf player weaved through the RSL defense and missed his shot. Minutes later another Surf player headed the ball over the crossbar. As the Surf turned up the pressure they also committed more players forward which backfired for them in the 32nd minute. Fito Ovalle played a ball over the top to Bofo Saucedo. He collected the ball dribbled into the box as the Surf GK came out. Saucedo then laid it off to an unmarked Moises Rodriguez who fired the shot into the net.
RSL doubled their lead in the 64th minute when Diego Silva dribbled around the Surf goalie and scored from the wing. With the 2 goal lead RSL passed the ball around and tried to hold on for the shut out but were unfortunately denied that when the Surf scored in the final minute. With seconds remaining after the goal the whistle was blown giving RSl a 2-1 victory.
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