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Tyler Gibbons

Real Salt Lake Arizona Academy Products Shine for U.S. U-20s in Dallas Cup

The U.S. U-20 National Team finished its run in the 2016 Dallas Cup, going 1-1-1 in three matches in the Group Stage to finish third in the group.  Real Salt Lake’s Danny Acosta started in two of the three matches and played 153 minutes total, while the three other products of the RSL-Arizona Academy also contributed in the three matches for the U-20 squad.

The tournament started off strong with a 1-0 victory over Monterrey, with RSL-AZ Academy product Brooks Lennon assisted on the only goal of the match in the 31st minute.  Acosta played a full 90 minutes in that victory, as did Academy alum Aaron Herrera – a defender with the University of New Mexico.

In the second match, the U.S. again got off to a fast start, jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute before Fulham turned it on and chased down a 2-1 win.  With the first two games played on back-to-back days, Head Coach Tab Ramos shuffled his lineups and Acosta and Herrera were both late subs in the match while current RSL midfielder Sebastian Saucedo – who is on loan to Veracruz in Mexico – started and played 79 minutes in the loss.

In the final match on Thursday, the U.S. needed a win to advance, but gave up a stoppage-time goal to finish with a 3-3 draw against Hoffenheim.  All four RSL Academy products started the match, with Lennon and Herrera both playing 90 minutes – Lennon while serving as captain.  Herrera scored in the 37th minute after an early Hoffenheim goal put the U.S. in a deficit.  The U.S. would take a 3-2 lead before finally conceding four minutes into stoppage time to finish with the draw.  Acosta would play 62 minutes in the match while Saucedo played 56 minutes.

Acosta is now slated to return to RSL this week while Lennon will head back to Liverpool, where he is a regular with the club’s U-18 and U-21 teams.  Saucedo has appeared in two league matches for Veracruz as a sub, also featuring regularly in Copa MX play, where he scored his first goal for the club to help top the group.  Herrera was a standout with New Mexico in his freshman season, starting in 14 of his 15 appearances in his first collegiate season.

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