This past week, the RSL Academy traveled to Frisco, Texas to participate in the 2022 Generation Adidas Cup. As the top youth tournament in North America, teams from eight countries were represented, including all MLS Academies. Despite not finishing with the trophy, there were still plenty of highlights to talk about. Here are the top five RSL Academy GA Cup moments, in chronological order.
U15 TOURNAMENT OPENING WIN: The RSL Academy U15s got off to a hot start and did not look back in group play, defeating FC Dallas in its opening match of GA Cup. Forward Zavier Gozo led the way for RSL, assisting the first goal of the match to Luca Moisa and finding the back of the net himself on a penalty kick just moments later. The U15s finished the match with a 3-1 score to open tournament play.
U15 UNDEFEATED IN GROUP STAGE: The U15s showed their dominance throughout the group stage, never losing a match. RSL never trailed in a match either, striking first in all three matches. Led by Gozo, who had two goals and two assists in the group stage, the U15s scored six goals in group play. They only let in two as well, for a +4 goal differential, third among all teams, only behind LAFC and Valencia CF and tied with Manchester United.
U17 GOAL OF THE DAY, APRIL 11: Looking to secure three points against Mexico’s Tigres UANL, the U17s broke down the Tigres’ defense with a through ball from Marcus Vasquez that slipped through to Terron Williams. Williams drove down the sideline before hitting a short cross to Jaden Jackson. Jackson backheeled the ball, deceiving the Tigres backline, to Izzy Amparo who was able to fire it into the left corner for the first goal of the match and goal of the day.
U15 ROUND OF 16 WIN: After going undefeated in the group stage, the U15s drew Austin FC for its round of 16 match. RSL scored early in the eighth minute when Zavier Gozo found Tony Ramirez wide open after a run down the sideline for his team-leading, third assist in four matches. The U15s held on strong throughout the rest of the match, putting on an impressive defensive effort led by goalkeeper Ty Rinker who earned his second clean sheet of the tournament. RSL defeated Austin FC 1-0 to advance to quarterfinals where they faced Spain’s Valencia CF.
U15 GOAL OF THE DAY, APRIL 14: The U15s also put together a great team goal of their own. In the 41st minute of the quarterfinals, RSL was looking for a spark against Spanish side Valencia CF when captain Luis Rivera dribbled through two defenders and found second-half substitute Dominic Berrios to kick off the pattern play. Berrios found Dylan Garcia who quickly looked to squeeze a through ball down the sideline to Zavier Gozo. Gozo dribbled down toward the endline before he crossed it to Kevin Hernandez who side-volleyed a rocket into the back of the net to open the scoring and for the goal of the day.
Outside of the group stage and knockout play, both teams participated in a combined seven showcase matches. The U17s went 2-1-1 through four matches, defeating St. Louis City FC and D.C. United, while drawing with FC Dallas and falling to FC Cincinnati. Meanwhile, the U15s beat both Tigres UANL and New York Red Bulls, giving them six wins and one draw (penalty kick losses are considered draws) at the tournament.