SANTA ANA, Calif. – In a pivotal weekend road trip to Southern California for a pair of games against Pateadores and Strikers FC, Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18 raised their total goal scoring mark to 108 goals in 29 games, surpassing the New York Red Bull’s 103 goals in 32 games in the 2012-13 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season to set a new single-season USSDA goal scoring record.
Pateadores 0-5 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18
RSL-AZ U-17/18 kicked off the weekend’s action at Vanguard University against Pateadores, looking to keep hold of their status as the number one team in the entire country.
After a back-and-forth first half, Jose Hernandez fired from a tight angle into the side netting for a goal just before the half time whistle to steal the lead for RSL-AZ before the break.
The Claret-and-Cobalt then broke open the game in the second half, with Damian German scoring in the 52nd minute and Erik Holt heading home a Hernandez free kick in the 61st minute to tie and break the Red Bull’s single-season goal scoring record.
Hernandez assisted on a second goal for German while Paul Bin set-up German for his third goal of the day for a hat trick to put him at the top of the team goal scoring list with 20 goals so far for the season and the 5-0 win.
Pateadores 1-3 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16
After the 18’s record-breaking performance in the first game of the day, the 16s needed a win in their game just to climb back into playoff position. Pateadores took the lead early, taking advantage of a defensive misstep for an easy cross and tap-in goal.
Aristotle Zarris refused to go into the half time break down a goal, smashing a curler from well outside the Pats box that squeaked just inside the near post to tie up the game at one goal apiece moments before the break.
In the 54th minute, Juan Mora took matters into his own hands, letting loose a bullet of a shot from distance that flew past the keeper at the far post for a beautiful go-ahead goal. Ten minutes before the final whistle, Glademir “Pichu” Mendoza crossed in low to Nikolai Shumov for his first Academy goal and the game-sealer in the 3-1 win.
Strikers FC 2-2 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18
Jose Hernandez continued his dominant play from Saturday against Strikers on Sunday, starting off the game with a tackle inside the Strikers 18 yard box and a pass to Danny Moreno for a goal in the 2nd minute of action.
After a long stretch of missed opportunities from RSL-AZ, Tate Schmitt was able to get onto the end of a long ball and finish around the keeper to double the lead with just over ten minutes left to play.
In the final ten minutes of action, Strikers scored on a penalty kick and a second shot from deep in stoppage time to steal a late draw and a point against RSL-AZ, knocking the Claret-and-Cobalt from number one in the country back down to number two.
Strikers FC 1-4 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16
Much like in their first game of the weekend, the 16s forced themselves to play from behind against Strikers, this time conceding in only the 4th minute of play to find themselves down a goal with a lot of game ahead of them.
After a Miles Stray headed goal that was flagged offside, Juan Mora leveled up the game in the 25th minute, cutting in from the left wing and finishing at the far post. “Pichu” notched his second assist of the weekend only minutes later, finding Kris Fourcand on a long ball that was put away to take a 2-1 lead into the half.
In the 46th minute, Stray made up for his offside goal in the first half, heading home a second Juan Mora corner kick to extend the lead to three. Late in the game, Aristotle Zarris tapped in a rebound off a shot from Erik Virgen to finish off the win and capture all six points for the weekend.
The Portland Timbers travel to Grande Sports World for their only matchup of the season against Real Salt Lake. The games kick off at 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Grande Sports World Field 7.