RSL Academy

RSL Academy Wraps Up Crown Plaza Elite Cup With Win

(Kastrup, Denmark) RSL Academy played their final match of the Crown Plaza Elite Cup against Finnish opposition HJK Helsinki. After gathering a draw and a win the day before, RSL Academy finished the week strong beating Helsinki 2-1. Cris Rios and Reignen Magsino scored within minutes of each other in the second half to claim victory.

HJK Helsinki got the ball rolling in the first half amid cloudy and wet conditions. Both teams looked to establish rhythm as the ball skipped across the slick grass. Jonah Giorgis was able to earn a freekick in the 10th minute, and Javier Martinez stepped up to take it. His attempt went over the wall and forced a diving save out of the goalkeeper. While Helsinki maintained the majority of the possession, RSL’s pressure kept the Finnish side penned in their own half. Giorgis sent a long ball over the top to Anthony Capetillo who went one-on-one with the keeper and forced another good save out of him.  The press caused another mistake in the 25th minute, Rios winning the ball high and finding Martinez at the top of the box, but Martinez was unable to keep his shot down.

Coming out of the break, Helsinki started to gain momentum. Goalkeeper Pete Loveridge made a clutch foot save in the 29th minute to keep the score level. However, a freekick conceded in the 30th minute was lobbed into the box and touched into the back of the net to give Helsinki the lead. On the resulting kickoff, RSL launched the ball into the opposing 18-yard box, putting the Finnish side on their heels immediately. Rios picked up a loose ball in the box and fired on frame. A deflection took the ball past the goalkeeper and over the line bringing the score to 1-1. Four minutes later, Magsino collected the ball just outside the box and sent a left footed shot at the net. The Helsinki goalkeeper misjudged the flight of the ball and missed the save, giving RSL the lead. Kien Cid nearly doubled the lead in the 45th minute, latching onto a spilled shot but a recovering defender cleared the ball off the line.

RSL Academy will begin the 2023/24 season on September 9 and 10 against the Colorado Rapids and Real Colorado for the Rocky Mountain Cup. The regular season will begin on October 7 against Seattle Sounders FC.