REAL SALT LAKE BEGINS 2011 GENERATION ADIDAS CUP WITH 3-1 WIN OVER CHICAGO FIRE
Combined RSL Side Looking to Replicate Past Success in Annual Under-17 Tournament for MLS Academy Teams
SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, July 26, 2011) – Real Salt Lake is well-represented in this year’s edition of the Generation adidas Cup, with a team comprised once again of players from RSL’s three youth development branches in Utah, Arizona and Florida trying to duplicate past success in what was previously known as the SUM U-17 Cup.
In the fifth annual edition of the showcase tournament, the Claret-and-Cobalt youngsters have been matched up in a Group D that is considered the deepest of the four pools in this year’s 16-team field, lining up alongside the New York Red Bulls, LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire. It is easy to see why Group D earned this year’s “Group of Death” moniker, as three of the squads placed among the nation’s best in this month’s U.S. Soccer Development Academy “Finals Week” championships in Milwaukee, the RSL-Arizona Academy squad placing third in the U-15/16 division behind the eventual champion Galaxy, while New York placed sixth in the U-18 division.
Sixteen of the 18 current MLS teams will field U-17 teams that will take part in five games across seven days time at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, with only expansion newcomers Portland and Vancouver sitting out this year’s competition. The Generation adidas Cup kicked off Monday evening, when RSL got off to a fine start via a 3-1 victory over Chicago. RSL will take to the field for its second pool play match this evening against the Red Bulls at 7:15 p.m. MT and will enjoy the day off on Wednesday before finishing up Group D action Thursday against the Galaxy at 7:15 p.m. MT. Tonight’s contest could allow Real Salt Lake a small measure of payback, as it was the Red Bulls’ defeat of the RSL-AZ Academy U-18 squad in the final match of pool play in the opening round of the USSDA Playoffs last month that kept the team from qualifying for Finals Week alongside its U-16 brethren.
Real Salt Lake’s young elites will be directed by the strongest staff yet assembled by the Claret-and-Cobalt, including newly-appointed RSL-Arizona Academy Director of Soccer Operations Martin Vasquez, who will work hand-in-hand with RSL Youth Development Technical Director and RSL First Team Assistant Coach Miles Joseph in overseeing the squad. In addition, the Real Salt Lake staff at Pizza Hut Park will include coaches from all three branches of the RSL Youth Development system in Mike Muñoz (RSL-AZ Academy), Greg Maas (RSL-Utah) and Maurice Loregnard (RSL-Florida), the group leading a 19-man RSL contingent that includes 14 players from the RSL-Arizona Academy program, four players from the RSL-Utah U-17 group and one member of the RSL-Florida camp out of Tampa.
The commitment Real Salt Lake has shown towards the annual U-17 tournament during its first four years has proven worth the effort, as RSL won the tournament in 2008 and placed as the runner-up to three-time champion D.C. United in last year’s championship in Houston, a dramatic penalty kick shootout defeat keeping the RSL side from an even split of the four titles to that point. After going 0-3-0 during the first tournament in 2007, Real Salt Lake has not lost since, last night’s win over Chicago bumping its undefeated streak over the last four years in the competition to a remarkable 15 games (8-0-7).
Real Salt Lake U-17 2011 Generation Adidas Cup Roster
RSL-Arizona Academy: Julio Alarcón, Jordan Allen, Kainoa Bailey, Dylan Kelly, Dylan Macvane, Cole Nagy, Miguel Polley, Alan Rivera, Miguel Salazar, Lucas Seligman, Nick Semintendi, Ben Fritz Spencer, Joey Speshock, Jon Zabassajja
RSL-Florida: Andrew Brody
RSL-Utah: Lucas Cawley, Alejandro Espinoza, Matt Gay, T. Joseph Wheelwright
Real Salt Lake 2011 Generation Adidas Cup Schedule and Results (Group D)
Monday, July 25: Real Salt Lake 3 : 1 Chicago Fire
Tuesday, July 26: RSL v. New York Red Bulls – 7:15 p.m. MT
Thursday, July 28: RSL v. LA Galaxy – 7:15 p.m. MT
Friday, July 29: Semifinals/Placement match TBD – (Based on group play results)
*Sunday, July 31: Championship/Placement match TBD – (Based on Friday’s result)
Real Salt Lake Generation adidas Cup/SUM U-17 Cup History
2008: 3-0-2, Champions
2009: 2-0-2, Third Place
2010: 2-0-3, Runner-up