SANDY, Utah - Real Salt Lake has announced that it has created its first-ever Under-12 youth soccer team, the first Utah-based club under the RSL Academy.
The U-12 team is the newest addition to the RSL player program and will jumpstart an age-group with plans to graduate them to the RSL-Arizona Academy. The team will be based in Sandy, Utah and players will be identified through open trials held at the end of May. The U-12 squad will begin competing in June and play throughout the remainder of the year. The club will continue to be managed by RSL President Bill Manning, a U.S. Soccer A-license coach, and former professional indoor player Shane Jones.
“This is an age-group we have become familiar with since Bill started coaching them a few years ago,” RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey said. “It is exciting to start a program here in Utah and hopefully we prepare these boys to graduate to RSL Arizona Academy at Casa Grande in a few years. We decided to start with this young age-group now, and anticipate in two years that this team and another based in Arizona will represent us at the U-14 level of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League.”
The RSL U-12 team will participate in the U-13 UYSA State Competition League beginning in the fall. Additionally, the team will compete at the U-12 level in the Desert Premier Soccer Division of the Far West Regional League which is comprised of elite teams from Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Hawaii. The squad will also take part in the Surf Cup and other tournaments and exhibition games to be announced at a later date. The RSL U-12 team will also visit the RSL Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona and train for a week under Academy Director Martin Vasquez and Head Coach Freddy Juarez.
The RSL U-12 tryouts will be held over a week-long period at the end of May. Further details on the open trials will be announced at a later date. The final U-12 roster, which will be comprised of 14 full-time players and two alternates, is set to be finalized on June 2.
Other Major League Soccer clubs with U-12 affiliated teams include Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC, D.C. United, FC Dallas and LA Galaxy.