RSL-AZ U-16's fall in championship match; Academy picks up multiple end-of-year awards

The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-16’s were unable to win back-to-back championships on Saturday, falling 2-0 to LA Galaxy in the 2013-2014 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Championship match held at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

The Claret-and-Cobalt were unable to stage a comeback after going down in the 28th minute through LA’s Dylan Smith, who tapped in a deflection off of RSL’s goalpost. The Galaxy recorded an insurance goal in the 51st minute when Juan Orozco volleyed home a blast from the top of the 18 yard box.

Real Salt Lake entered Saturday’s final looking to win its second-straight USSDA U-16 Championship title. The defending champs advanced to the final match after putting in a dominant performance in its semifinal game two days earlier - a 5-1 rout of Strikers FC.

Despite the loss and second-place finish on Saturday, the RSL-AZ U-16’s had a fantastic year finishing first in the USSDA Southwest Division and West Conference. The Claret-and-Cobalt also snagged multiple end-of-year conference awards, with RSL’s Sebastian Saucedo winning Player of the Year along with a Forward of the Year honor in the West. Real Salt Lake first-team homegrown signing Justen Glad picked up a Defender of the Year award as well. In the team awards, the entire U-16 squad took home the Style of Play honor.

The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-18 squad was also represented in the conference awards with midfielder Jose Hernandez earning Midfielder of the Year accolades.

In the overall awards, the entire Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy program took home the Best Training Facility honor in the West Conference.