Soccer Recap: RSL-AZ U-15/16 one win from Championship repeat after 5-1 win over Strikers FC

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Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 after their 5-1 win over Strikers FC in the 2013-14 US Soccer Development Academy semifinals

Carson, Calif. – Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 are only one win away from becoming the first team to repeat as US Soccer Development Academy Champions after Thursday’s 5-1 win over Strikers FC.

“It’s exciting,” said RSL-AZ goalkeeper Christian Herrera. “This doesn’t come around a lot. We’re all very happy and we’re ready to make history.”

RSL’s five goals, highlighted by Adolfo “Fito” Ovalle’s 25 yard outside foot curler and punctuated by Sebastian “Bofo” Saucedo’s two late counter attacks, showed off the dominant attack that the defending National Champions will bring to Saturday’s USSDA final against the home team, Los Angeles Galaxy U-15/16.

With so much on the line in the semifinal match, neither team took many risks in the early minutes. The first scoring chance of the match came in the 10th minute when “Bofo” was given space 25 yards from goal and shot straight at the Strikers FC goalkeeper. Four minutes later, Danny Acosta won a free kick 20 yards from the Strikers FC goal, which “Bofo” struck around the wall but into the hands of the Strikers keeper once again.

RSL-AZ opened the scoring in the 16th minute on a corner kick, when the corner was poorly cleared outside the box and RSL knocked it back in to Josh Doughty, who turned and fired to give the defending champs a 1-0 lead. (Video)

Ten minutes later, a sprinting Acosta chased down a lobbed pass from the RSL midfield that was heading out of play and won a corner kick. On the ensuing play, Saucedo’s corner bounced out to Ovalle, who struck the ball with the outside of his foot from 25 yards out, sending it into the upper corner of the far side of goal for a beautiful finish that gave the Strikers FC goalkeeper no chance.

In the 35th minute, an RSL corner once again caused problems, with “Bofo” finding Miles Stray on the far post, but his shot was blocked safely away to maintain the 2-0 score line heading into half time.

From the onset of the second half, Strikers FC looked determined to turn the match around. Four minutes in, a poor pass in the RSL defense handed the ball to Strikers FC for a dangerous chance, but Herrera dove onto the ball, preventing the near scoring opportunity. In the 49th minute, Strikers FC finally got on the score sheet with a saved shot rebounding off Herrera and back into play, where Strikers’ Halil Beqaj fired it into the back of the net to bring the score to 2-1.

“They came alive, they were a battling team,” said Herrera. “For a second there we fell asleep, but it was very professional how we right away picked it up and didn’t let down.”

A beautiful series of passes from Tate Schmitt to Evan Waldrep to “Bofo” and back to Schmitt for the finish doubled RSL’s lead in the 60th minute. “After we got comfortable and had some goals, then it was simple for us to combine,” said Schmitt. “Later in the game they got tired and we kept on doing the same thing and we were good.”

Down two goals with 20 minutes left to play, Strikers FC began to push everyone forward in an attempt to get back in the game. In the 77th minute, a cross from the right wing found the head of a Strikers FC attacker, but his header went over the crossbar, leaving Strikers’ chances of a comeback dwindling even further away.

Two minutes later, “Bofo” Saucedo struck on the counter attack, catching the Strikers defense too far forward and scoring to increase the RSL lead to 4-1. “Bofo” scored once again in the 85th minute, cutting in from the left wing and finishing to score the final goal of the game and secure a 5-1 RSL win.

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 play in the US Soccer Development Academy Final at 4:00 pm on Saturday, July 19th at the StubHub Center against Southwest Division rivals Los Angeles Galaxy, who defeated Chicago Magic PSG in the other semifinal matchup 3-2 to earn their place in the final. The match will be streamed live on ussoccer.com.

Soccer Recap: RSL-AZ U-15/16 one win from Championship repeat after 5-1 win over Strikers FC

Carson, Calif. – Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 are only one win away from becoming the first team to repeat as US Soccer Development Academy Champions after Thursday’s 5-1 win over Strikers FC.

“It’s exciting,” said RSL-AZ goalkeeper Christian Herrera. “This doesn’t come around a lot. We’re all very happy and we’re ready to make history.”

RSL’s five goals, highlighted by Adolfo “Fito” Ovalle’s 25 yard outside foot curler and punctuated by Sebastian “Bofo” Saucedo’s two late counter attacks, showed off the dominant attack that the defending National Champions will bring to Saturday’s USSDA final against the home team, Los Angeles Galaxy U-15/16.

With so much on the line in the semifinal match, neither team took many risks in the early minutes. The first scoring chance of the match came in the 10th minute when “Bofo” was given space 25 yards from goal and shot straight at the Strikers FC goalkeeper. Four minutes later, Danilo Acosta won a free kick 20 yards from the Strikers FC goal, which “Bofo” struck around the wall but into the hands of the Strikers keeper once again.

RSL-AZ opened the scoring in the 16th minute on a corner kick, when the corner was poorly cleared outside the box and RSL knocked it back in to Josh Doughty, who turned and fired to give the defending champs a 1-0 lead. (Video)

Ten minutes later, a sprinting Acosta chased down a lobbed pass from the RSL midfield that was heading out of play and won a corner kick. On the ensuing play, Saucedo’s corner bounced out to Ovalle, who struck the ball with the outside of his foot from 25 yards out, sending it into the upper corner of the far side of goal for a beautiful finish that gave the Strikers FC goalkeeper no chance.

In the 35th minute, an RSL corner once again caused problems, with “Bofo” finding Miles Stray on the far post, but his shot was blocked safely away to maintain the 2-0 score line heading into half time.

From the onset of the second half, Strikers FC looked determined to turn the match around. Four minutes in, a poor pass in the RSL defense handed the ball to Strikers FC for a dangerous chance, but Herrera dove onto the ball, preventing the near scoring opportunity. In the 49th minute, Strikers FC finally got on the score sheet with a saved shot rebounding off Herrera and back into play, where Strikers’ Halil Beqaj fired it into the back of the net to bring the score to 2-1.

“They came alive, they were a battling team,” said Herrera. “For a second there we fell asleep, but it was very professional how we right away picked it up and didn’t let down.”

A beautiful series of passes from Tate Schmitt to Evan Waldrep to “Bofo” and back to Schmitt for the finish doubled RSL’s lead in the 60th minute. “After we got comfortable and had some goals, then it was simple for us to combine,” said Schmitt. “Later in the game they got tired and we kept on doing the same thing and we were good.”

Down two goals with 20 minutes left to play, Strikers FC began to push everyone forward in an attempt to get back in the game. In the 77th minute, a cross from the right wing found the head of a Strikers FC attacker, but his header went over the crossbar, leaving Strikers’ chances of a comeback dwindling even further away.

Two minutes later, “Bofo” Saucedo struck on the counter attack, catching the Strikers defense too far forward and scoring to increase the RSL lead to 4-1. “Bofo” scored once again in the 85th minute, cutting in from the left wing and finishing to score the final goal of the game and secure a 5-1 RSL win.

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 play in the US Soccer Development Academy Final at 4:00 pm on Saturday, July 19th at the StubHub Center against Southwest Division rivals Los Angeles Galaxy, who defeated Chicago Magic PSG in the other semifinal matchup 3-2 to earn their place in the final. The match will be streamed live on ussoccer.com.

Scoring Summary

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16

16’ – Josh Doughty
27’ – Adolfo Ovalle
60’ – Tate Schmitt
79’ – Sebastian Saucedo
80’ – Sebastian Saucedo

Strikers FC U-15/16

49’ – Halil Beqaj

Lineups

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16

Christian Herrera
Aaron Herrera (Nicholas LaMonica, 80’)
Miles Stray
Justen Glad
Gavino Carranza
Danilo Acosta (Terrell Lowe, 79’)
Adolfo Ovalle
Tate Schmitt (Alex Knox, 76’)
Evan Waldrep (Tyler Feeley, 78’)
Sebastian Saucedo
Josh Doughty

Unused Substitutes: Conor Orton

Strikers FC U-15/16

Halil Beqaj (Zen Roten, 75’)
AJ Harb (Anthony Badea, 80’)
Dakota Havlick
Shinya Kadono
Jackson Kerins (Matthew Gooden, 41’)
Robert Knights
Cameron Mardan
Sean Nakaoka (Arthur Rietdyk, 41’)
Luis Ramirez
Alex Romero
Evan Williams

Unused Substitutes: Jonathan Klinsmann, Tommy Levasseur, Gregory Osegueda

Discipline

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16

Yellow – Gavino Carranza
Yellow – Justen Glad
Yellow – Aaron Herrera
Yellow – Miles Stray

Strikers FC U-15/16

Yellow – Alex Romero
Yellow – Evan Williams

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