HERRIMAN, Utah (Friday, July 29, 2022) – This year’s 2022-23 Real Salt Lake Academy U-15 class is set to embark on a two-week long trip to Germany, during which the team will serve as one of 10 international clubs competing in the U-15 International Augsburg Whitsun Tournament, hosted by FC Augsburg.
Additionally, prior to the start of the tournament, the Academy will play two international friendly matches against TSV 1890 München and FC Heidenheim.
“Our first trip to Europe with our U-15 team is a valuable opportunity for us to see where we are at as an academy and learn what we need to continue to develop in the year ahead,” RSL Director of Talent Identification Jon Spencer said. “There is no better way to evaluate our team than by competing against top-level competition. We get to see how our players stack up against some very good academies across Europe.”
This year’s field of participants at the U-15 International Augsburg Whitsun Tournament includes clubs from eight different countries, including FCA Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), FC Augsburg (Germany), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Puskás Akadémia (Hungary), Juventus FC (Italy), Luxembourg National Team (Luxembourg), Danish Silkeborg IF (Switzerland), BSC Young Boys (Switzerland) and Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine).
The RSL Academy will compete in Group 1 with FC Augsburg, Juventus FC, Puskás Akadémia and BSC Young Boys, with each team playing four games in the preliminary round beginning on Friday, August 19. On Sunday, August 21 the teams will compete in placement games with the Championship match taking place that afternoon.
The matches themselves in the preliminary round will consist of two 17 minute halves, with the matches in the final round being played with two 25 minutes halves.
In addition to the tournament and international friendlies, the RSL Academy will get an educational tour of Münich, Germany, including a tour of the Dachau Memorial.
FC Augsburg belongs to Real Salt Lake Owner David Blitzer’s growing football network. Blitzer boasts interests in six European soccer entities, including Crystal Palace (England), FC Augsburg (Germany), Estoril (Portugal), ADO Den Haag (Netherlands), Alcorcón (Spain) and SK Beveren (Belgium). This trip puts a further emphasis on the partnership between clubs under Blitzer’s umbrella.
“As a Club, we are fortunate to have expanded our global infrastructure through our new owners David Blitzer and Ryan Smith. In doing so, this has afforded us the opportunity to not only broaden our soccer footprint for the first team, but also to provide unique opportunities, such as this, for our Academy,” RSL Assistant General Manager Tony Beltran said. “We hope this is the first in a series of trips in the coming years which will continue to position us as one of the top talent development programs in the country.”
The remainder of the RSL Academy is set to return to Zions Banks Training Facility on August 8 to prepare for their upcoming season. The teams will return for the 2022-23 MLS NEXT regular season in September, the schedule for which will be released at a later date.