CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Real Salt Lake played to a draw in its first preseason game of 2014 on Wednesday, tying the Real Salt Lake-Arizona U-18’s 1-1 at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz.
MF Javier Morales had the goal for the Claret-and-Cobalt, slotting home a penalty kick in the 52nd minute. RSL-AZ Academy MF Josh Doughty scored the equalizer in the 80th, pouncing on a loose ball in the box to knot the game at 1-1.
The RSL-AZ U-18’s started the match brightly, nearly going ahead in the second and seventh minutes. MF Jose Hernandez had the first look, hitting a wicked shot from distance on the right side that knuckled just wide of the far post. MF Jack Gayton came even closer in the seventh, collecting a ball at the top of the box and rifling a low shot off the far post.
Real Salt Lake controlled most of the rest of the half, registering a pair of very good chances in the 19th and 35th minutes. DF Jordan Allen started the first play, breaking free down the right wing and finding FW Alvaro Saborio at the back post. Saborio twisted around to get on the end of the ball, athletically rising before heading just wide of the mark. MF Joao Plata had an even better look in the 35th, just flicking a toe-poke wide of the left post after some nice interplay in the area between Saborio and MF Sebastian Velasquez.
The RSL first-team went ahead in the 52nd minute through Morales’s penalty. DF Abdoulie Mansally earned the spot kick, racing into the left side of the area before being brought down by the Academy’s right back. Morales had no trouble converting, coolly slotting the PK into the lower-left corner.
Real Salt Lake nearly doubled its advantage on several occasions, coming closest to pulling ahead 2-0 in the 68th minute. MF John Stertzer had the chance, making a hard near post run to get on the end of a DF Rich Balchan cross. Unfortunately for the first-team, Stertzer couldn’t quite keep his shot on frame, flicking a header just wide of the left post from the top-right corner of the six.
Doughty equalized for the Academy in the 80th minute. DF Damian German whipped a cross in from the right side, and the ball bounced around in the area before eventually falling to the onrushing Doughty, who half-volleyed the loose ball into the roof of the net.
Both sides had great looks at a winner in the final minutes, with RSL FW Olmes Garcia nearly scoring in the 87th and 89th minutes before Academy FW Sam Gleedle bounced a shot off the post in the 90th.
Real Salt Lake will return to the training field on Thursday, with Head Coach Jeff Cassar scheduled to put the team through a double session at Grande Sports World. The Claret-and-Cobalt will train again on Friday and Saturday before returning to Salt Lake City on Saturday evening. RSL will begin its second preseason training camp next Tuesday, Feb. 4, when the team will travel to Southern California to begin a 10-day camp at the University of California-Irvine.
REAL SALT LAKE 1-1 REAL SALT LAKE-ARIZONA ACADEMY U-18
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 29, 2014
GRANDE SPORTS WORLD
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-18 0 1 1
RSL – Javier Morales (Penalty Kick) – 52’
RSL-AZ – Josh Doughty – 80’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Lalo Fernandez (Jeff Attinella, 46’); Jordan Allen (Rich Balchan, 46’), Nat Borchers (Chris Wingert, 46’; Aaron Maund, 81’), Aaron Maund (Carlos Salcedo, 46’), Ryan Neil (Abdoulie Mansally, 46’); Joey Dillon (Cole Grossman, 46’); Ned Grabavoy (John Stertzer, 46’; Sebastian Velasquez, 81’), Sebastian Velasquez (Luke Mulholland, 46’); Joao Plata (Javier Morales, 46’); Danny Jackson (Benji Lopez, 46’), Alvaro Saborio (Olmes Garcia, 46’)