HERRIMAN, Utah (Friday, August 12, 2022) – The Real Salt Lake Academy has announced the incoming U-15 class for the 2022-23 MLS NEXT season.
The new class will be joining four returners, including forward Armani Haro, goalkeeper Will Mackay, midfielder Luca Moisa and forward Axel Uriostegui. The four returners played vital roles on the 2022 RSL Academy U-15 team’s run to the MLS NEXT Cup final, where the team fell short of a repeat championship, loosing 2-1 to Inter Miami CF.
This year’s Academy class will be seeking to advance to a third-straight national championship, having won the 2021 MLS NEXT Cup and finished second in the 2022 MLS NEXT Cup.
Leading this year’s new class is 14-year-old phenom Omar Marquez from Sacramento Republic FC, who made waves after netting a hat trick against New York Red Bulls II in the MLS NEXT Cup quarterfinal to catapult his team into the semifinal. Sacramento would eventually fall to Real Salt Lake 2-0, just one win shy of a berth in the championship match. Marquez’ fellow Sacramento teammate Khodad Panahi is also set to join the RSL Academy.
Linkon Ream and Lorenzo Tuch join the long list of players to ascend to the RSL Academy by way of RSL Arizona, the Club’s long-time development partner. Both Ream and Tuch have received call ups to the United States Youth National Team ID camps, often a precursor for the youth national teams.
In addition to Mackay and Ream, Isaac Murphy rounds out the contingency coming from the state of Utah.
RSL Academy bolsters its goalkeeper core with the addition of Alaskan-born ‘keeper Rocco Von Marees, who honed his craft at Cook Inlet Soccer Club. Obed Vargas (Seattle Sounders) and Hunter Sulte (Portland Timbers) both came to Major League Soccer by way of Cook Inlet Soccer Club, perhaps Von Marees will be the next.
This year’s class also includes a large contingent from Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to returners Moisa and Uriostegui, there are four players who hail from the Silver State, including Jesse Mayo, Peter Beyene, Cristopher Rios and Van Parker.
Meanwhile, there are ten new players from California, including seven from the San Diego area — Giovanni Aguirre, Karlos Flores, Omar Garcia, Antonio Riquelme, Javier Ruelas, Garret Windle and Evan Youngflesh.
Javier Martinez also comes by way of California, joining from Fresno where he played for South Valley Chivas, a club that has seen many of its players join various national teams.
The final group of new players includes Sebastian Gamez and Juda Casas from El Paso, Texas. Casas comes from Athletic Club El Paso where RSL Homegrown defender Jaziel Orozco originally developed his talent before coming to Utah.
All players, excluding Beyene and Panahi, will travel with the RSL Academy to Germany for a series of games against globally recognized clubs, including FC Augsburg and Juventus. Upon their return the team will get set to begin its quest for a third-consecutive appearance in the MLS NEXT Cup with the start of the 2022-23 regular season.