Elite Soccer Recap: 16s & 18s go undefeated en route to Desert Classic titles

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Diego Huerta clearing a ball for Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16 at the 2015 SC del Sol Desert Classic

PEORIA, Ariz. – At the SC del Sol Desert Classic Tournament, Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16 and U-18 combined for a 6-0-1 record and 29-1 goal difference to capture both U-16 and U-18 tournament championships.

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-18 1-1 Coastal FC United

RSL-AZ Elite U-18 entered their first official game of 2015 with all cylinders firing, showing no signs of rest after the winter break against their Canadian opposition Coastal FC United.

After a scoreless first half in which the Claret-and-Cobalt dominated the game, it was Coastal FC that opened the scoring in the 68th minute, hitting home a corner that RSL-AZ fail to clear out for the late 1-0 lead.

RSL-AZ fought back, however, with Martin Lopez earning a penalty and scoring from the spot in the fourth minute of stoppage time to salvage the 1-1 draw.

SC del Sol 0-3 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16

RSL-AZ Elite U-16 got the goal scoring frenzy started on late Friday night against SC del Sol, earning the 1-0 lead in the 17th minute when Josh Allison crossed into Bpen Kareth for an inside foot goal.

Ten minutes later, Moises Durazo ripped a shot from just inside the box off the far post and in to double the RSL-AZ lead before half time.

Alex Vedamanikam finished off the scoring in the 57th minute with a beautiful goal, rounding and nutmegging the SC del Sol keeper with his shot to seal the 3-0 win and RSL-AZ’s first clean sheet of the competition.

FC Boulder 0-6 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-18

Not to be outdone by the 16s, RSL-AZ Elite U-18 got in on the scoring action on Saturday against Colorado’s FC Boulder. In the 16th minute, Patrick Ring came up from the back and finished low to the far post from the edge of the box for the 1-0 lead.

Just before half time, Nikolai Shumov, Martin Lopez and Justin Jun all connected to open up Mikey Lanzetta for a beautiful goal in the 39th. Five minutes into the second half, Lanzetta hit a screamer from over 30 yards out to bring the lead to 3-0.

In the 57th minute, Anthony Negrete crossed into Justin Jun for Jun’s first Elite goal. Nikolai Shumov added two goals of his own, one top corner finish from the edge of the box and a curler from long distance to bring the final score line to a 6-0 RSL-AZ win.

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-18 3-0 FC United

After a short break, RSL-AZ U-18 returned to the field to face off against Illinois’ FC United. Duncan Storey added his name to the score sheet in the third minute, scoring from distance and immediately putting United on their back heel.

In the 51st minute, Callum Ryan fired past the United keeper to double the Claret-and-Cobalt lead. With ten minutes left in the game, Roy De La Maza added his name to the list of ridiculous goals scored for the weekend, launching a shot from far out into the top corner of goal to finish off the 3-0 win!

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16 6-0 Wyoming Youth Soccer

RSL-AZ Elite U-16 immediately continued their red-hot play from their first game of the tournament with a Suraphael Mbonisi goal in the 6th minute. Alex Vedamanikam doubled the lead 20 minutes later, finishing into a wide-open net after a mistake from the Wyoming keeper.

The 16s laid the goals on thick in the second half, with Kyle Hellmann, “Surph” Mbonisi and two more goals from Alex Vedamanikam providing the difference in the eventual 6-0 win.

Tucson Soccer Academy 0-4 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-18

With a win guaranteeing RSL-AZ Elite U-18 the Desert Classic title on Sunday, the 18s were not going to leave anything to chance. Patrick Ring notched his second goal of the tournament in the 27th minute to give the Claret-and-Cobalt the huge 1-0 lead.

After some near-misses to end the first half, Lauro Vasquez poked in an Aaron Hidalgo-Mazzei cross to double the lead in the 46th minute. Ten minutes later, Ring found Vasquez on a through ball for another goal to extend the lead to three.

Vasquez completed his hat trick in the 60th minute, poaching another loose ball in the box to bring the score to 4-0 and officially capture the SC del Sol Desert Classic Tournament championship for Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-18.

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16 6-0 Sereno SC

Needing a win to match the 18’s trophy-winning performance, Bpen Kareth took matters into his own hands by scoring in the first minute for the 1-0 lead. Moises Durazo put in another goal in the fourth minute for a huge 2-0 lead early in the game.

Alex Vedamanikam extended the lead to three in the 32nd minute with a clinical finish and Durazo added his second goal of the half only moments later to extend the lead to four goals before half time.

Four minutes into the second half, Vedamanikam notched another goal thanks to a cross from Kareth for a fifth goal. Kyle Hellmann scored the final goal of the tournament in the 65th minute for the 6-0 win and the 2015 SC del Sol Desert Classic Tournament championship for Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16.

This weekend, Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-17 and U-18 compete in the SC del Sol President’s Day Tournament in Phoenix, facing off against some of the top clubs that the U.S. has to offer.

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