Academy sides return to Utah after a two-game weekend

The Real Salt Lake Academy sides returned to U.S. Soccer Development Academy action this weekend after two weeks off, playing two matches in Southern California against Real So. Cal. and Arsenal FC. The U-17s walked away with a win on Saturday and a draw on Sunday while the U-19 group won both its matches, outscoring opponents 7-1 over the weekend.

Saturday’s matches saw the RSL Academy sides take on Real So. Cal. as the U-17s kicked off the weekend with a 2-0 victory. Goals from FW Ben Ortiz and Luis Arriaga solidified the shutout victory for the Claret-and-Cobalt. Ortiz now has nine goals to his name this season, good for seventh place on the USSDA West scoring charts.

Following up the U-17s victory, the U-19s also notched a 2-0 victory over Real So. Cal. on Saturday as MFs Jordan Pena and Zahir Vasquez each scored to secure the win. Vasquez now has six goals to his name on the season, the second most in the U-19 group.

GKs Tyler Kirberg and David Ochoa split time in goal for the U-17s to earn the shutout while GK Jacob Jackson played the full 90 minutes in goal to earn the shutout for the U-19s.

The U-17s final match of the weekend saw the team walk away with a draw, earning 1-1 result against Arsenal FC on Sunday morning. MF Noah Beck scored his first goal of the year to help secure a point for RSL. The draw against Arsenal FC was just the second time all season the team has dropped points as the team remains undefeated with a 6-0-2 record in USSDA action.

An emphatic 5-1 win for the U-19s closed out the weekend’s matches for RSL as FW Sebastian Soto scored four goals to lead the older group to the win. Soto’s first-half hat trick – which took eight minutes from his first in the 25th minute to his third in the 33rd – solidified his fourth hat trick of the year and second game scoring four goals. Soto now has 17 goals on the season and is currently tied for the “Golden Boot” lead atop the USSDA scoring charts having only played eight matches.

 MF Zahir Vasquez also scored his sixth goal of the year in the rout.

Having now won seven consecutive matches for Head Coach Martin Vasquez, the U-19s move to 7-1-0 (21 points) on the season, outscoring opponents 40-2 while earning five shutouts in the active seven-match win streak.

Next up for the Academy sides is a trip to Lakewood Ranch Florida for a Winter Showcase tournament. The U-17s will play Atlanta United on Dec. 1, Montreal Impact on Dec. 2 and BW Gottschee Academy on Dec. 4. The U-19s will play matches against the Philadelphia Union on Nov. 30, Montreal Impact on Dec. 1 and Oakwood Soccer Club on Dec. 3.

The next Academy games in the Salt Lake Valley will be Dec. 9 against Strikers FC at 11:00 a.m. for the U-17s and the U-19s at 1:30 p.m. The matches will be the first held at the Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman. 

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