The Real Salt Lake Academy continued its sophomore MLS NEXT season against Los Angeles FC on Sunday, September 12 in Los Angeles California. 

Despite its best efforts, both the U15s and U17s fell to the LAFC sides on the weekend.

Head Coach Andrew May rolled out a 4-3-3 formation for the U15s, anchored by goalkeeper Ty Rinker. Cannon Clark, Luis Rivera, Jahmani Stepleton and Dylan Garcia made up the team’s defense, while Juan Landeros, Dominic Berrios and David Lora formed the trio in the midfield. In the attack, May went with Josiah Martinez, Zavier Gozo and Anthony Ramirez to round out its starting lineup.

The team ultimately lost 1-0, but in only its second-official match together it marked an important step in development for the future of the team. 

“For us the positive take away was just how competitive we were against a top team in the age group,” May said. “We are still a young team, and we are looking to grow each and every game.” 

As for the U17s, with several key players missing and a shift in the overall system the RSL boys struggled to overcome LAFC’s cohesion, dropping a 4-0 result, marking the first time the team was held scoreless dating back to May of 2021. 

The U17s deployed a 3-4-3, a new formation for the group, with Gershon Henry, Braydan Morrell and Alex Lopez leading the team’s defensive efforts, while Jude Wellings, Axel Kei and Marcus Vazquez pulled the strings up top. 

Additionally, the U17s competed in its first match of the 2021 United Premier Soccer League season, dominating Spider FC 6-0 at Zions Bank Stadium.

Forward Yekeson Subah recorded an impressive three goals in the first 40 minutes of the match, which combined with Matthew Hagan’s early rocket that flew into the back of the net to cruise into halftime with the 4-0 lead. 

In the second half Jaden Jackson and Pearse O'Brien found the back of the net for the final goals of the night. 

Both teams will continue the MLS NEXT season this Saturday in the first home match at Zions Bank Stadium, hosting Seattle Sounders FC. The U15s will kick off at 9:00 a.m. MT, with the U17s following behind at 11:00 a.m. MT. The following day, members of the Academy will compete in the second UPSL match against Albion FC Idaho at 12:00 p.m. MT from Zions Bank Stadium.