Academy Soccer Recap: RSL-AZ U-17/18 dominates in 2015 openers

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Jose Hernandez acrobatically controls the ball for Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18 continued their domination of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy over the weekend, winning by a combined 11-0 over Juventus Sport Club and the San Jose Earthquakes, while RSL-AZ U-15/16 won against Juventus and lost to San Jose as they continue their climb up the USSDA standings.

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18 8-0 Juventus Sport Club

With their minds set on continuing their three-month long unbeaten streak to end 2014, RSL-AZ U-17/18 entered their first game of the New Year with a point to prove.

Jose Hernandez got the scoring started in the 4th minute, heading in a goal from point-blank range to take a swift 1-0 lead.

The goals continued to pour in after the opener, with Amar Sejdic, Tate Schmitt, Aaron Herrera and Brooks Lennon all tallying goals for a dominant 5-0 half time lead.

In the second half, Alex Knox added a goal of his own while Lennon completed his hat trick to seal the Claret-and-Cobalt’s biggest win of the 2014-15 USSDA season.

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 1-0 Juventus Sport Club

Looking for a blowout of their own in the second half of Saturday’s doubleheader, RSL-AZ U-15/16 instead faced tough opposition in Juventus Sport Club’s U-15/16 side.

Goalkeeper Jared Osgood stole the show in his Academy debut, making save after save to capture a much-needed shutout in the tightly contested game.

A stroke of luck wound up making the difference in the game, when a 69th minute shot from Efren “Junior” Estrada rebounded off the keeper, off the back of a Juventus defender and into the back of the net for a dramatic game-winning goal.

The defense managed to hold out for the final ten minutes, securing a much-needed three points in the first game of 2015 for RSL-AZ U-15/16.

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18 3-0 San Jose Earthquakes

In a game featuring many of the players from last year’s USSDA U-15/16 quarterfinal, RSL-AZ U-17/18 was motivated to repeat the rain-delayed 1-0 win over their Northern California foes.

Amar Sejdic put his name on the score sheet first, finishing low and hard into the far corner of goal from just outside of the box to hand the home team the 1-0 lead.

After the opener, San Jose looked to be finding some momentum using their trademark physical play, but it was that physicality that cost them in the 35th minute when Jonathan Partida was sent off with his second yellow card, giving RSL-AZ U-17/18 a man advantage with 55 minutes left to play.

In the second half, Tate Schmitt hammered a shot off the crossbar and in while Edgar Duran earned a goal of his own to seal the victory and a perfect two-game weekend at home.

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 0-1 San Jose Earthquakes

Coming off a dramatic victory on Saturday and facing off against another MLS academy with a perfect weekend record on the line, RSL-AZ U-15/16 needed to rise to the occasion in the weekend finale against San Jose.

The Earthquakes scored the lone goal on the only serious scoring opportunity of the first half when Theo Huxham shot the ball off the post and in past David Preys in the 29th minute.

In the second half, the Claret-and-Cobalt attack regrouped, challenging the San Jose goal with shot after shot that were continually kept out by the keeper.

RSL-AZ U-15/16’s best chance of the game came late in stoppage time when a cross from Zahir Vasquez on the right wing resulted in a scramble in the box, eventually being cleared away by San Jose who held on for the win.

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy continues its January home stand on Saturday, January 24 at Grande Sports World against Real So Cal. The 18s kick off first at 10:30 a.m. followed by the 16s at 1:00 p.m.

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