CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – With only two games remaining on the schedule before the season ends, the U16 Real Salt Lake Academy team has already qualified for U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs.
The picture to the right is the letter the coaches received over the weekend from U.S. Soccer. For the U-18 letter from U.S. Soccer click here. Click on picture to see the letter in a bigger size.
Real Salt Lake’s U16 Academy has now qualified for the playoffs in all three years of their existence. Over the past two years they finished second in the Southwest Division and can do the same this year depending on the outcome of their next two games against Arsenal FC and Pateadores. They CAN NOT win the Division. Details below on the playoff system rules from U.S. Soccer. Same rules apply for U18’s.
About U.S. Soccer Development Academy Playoffs – From ussoccer.com
The top two or three teams from each division (Three from Northeast, Atlantic, Southeast, Frontier, and Mid-American and two from Northwest and Southwest) will automatically advance to the 2013 Playoffs based on overall points per game. The next 13 teams with the overall most points per game not based on division will qualify for the 2013 Playoffs.
Once a team has qualified for the Playoffs, teams will be seeded into 4 pots based on overall points per game throughout the Academy season.
Pot #1: Teams seeded #1-#8
Pot #2: Teams seeded #9-#16
Pot #3: Teams seeded $17-#24
Pot #4: Teams seeded #25-#32
Teams will be drawn from each pot and placed into a Playoff Group of four teams. Teams will be placed back in their respective pot if drawn into a Playoff Group with a division opponent. Each of the 8 Playoff Groups will contain 4 teams each. The same procedure applies to both age groups.
Complete standings 2012-2013 here.
Last year, RSL U16’s were eliminated in group play. In 2011, first year, they won their group and advanced to finals week where they were unfortunately eliminated in group play.
U16 playoff results 2012 – RSL Group 4
U16 playoff results 2011 – RSL Group 6 – U16 Finals Week results – RSL Group 2
If RSL is able to advance out of group play they will play in the Development Academy Finals Week in Houston, Texas on July 14-20.
This achievement shows all the hard work and sacrifices out players have made to achieve their dreams. Isaias “Junior” Juarez who is a member of the U18 team and who has been at Grande Sports Academy since 2011 had this to say about qualifying for the playoffs, “It is not something that is easy, which is why it feels so good. There is a lot of hard work that goes on to get there and once we get there we gotta work to get to Nationals. It is never-ending work but always worth it.”