Returned from Florida; Academy sides look ahead to first match in Herriman

The Real Salt Lake Academy sides capped its weekend in Florida after taking part in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase where each team played in three matches from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. The U-19s played matches against the Philadelphia Union, Montreal Impact and Oakwood Soccer Club. The U-17s played against Atlanta United, Montreal Impact and Gottschee Academy in its respective matches during the showcase.

The weekend brought mixed results for both sides as the U-19s earned a 2-0-1 record after losing its first match of the weekend to the Philadelphia Union by a 4-1 score line – a match that ended a seven-match win streak – but the group was able to recover and topple the previously undefeated Montreal Impact 3-1 on Dec. 1 before closing out the weekend with a win against Oakwood Soccer Club, 2-1 on Dec. 3.

Leading the way for the U-19s was FW Sebastian Soto who scored four goals in the three-match span – totaling four goals in three matches, bringing his goal tally for the season to 21 in just 11 matches played – good for the lead in the “Golden Boot” race across all U.S. Soccer Development Academy action. Also adding goals were MFs Jordan Pena and Erik Virgen as they scored first-half goals against the Impact on Dec. 1. The U-19s now own a 9-2-0 record (27 points), placing them second in the league's West Conference ahead of next weekend’s home match against Strikers FC.

The younger group began the showcase with a scoreless draw against Atlanta United on Dec. 1, the first match being held scoreless this season, as GK David Ortiz earned the shutout in goal for the Claret-and-Cobalt. The second match of the weekend gave rise to the team's first regular season loss, a 3-0 decision to the Montreal Impact on Dec. 2.

The U-17s closed out the weekend when it was handed its second regular season loss of the year, a 2-1 loss against Gottschee Academy moving RSL to 0-2-1 (1 point) during the weekend. Scoring the lone goal in the match for RSL was MF George Pineda, his first for the RSL Academy.

The Academy teams will now return home to prepare for the first-ever match at the Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman. RSL will host Strikers FC on Saturday Dec. 9 at the brand-new $75 million facility with U-17s opening proceedings in Herriman at 11:00 a.m. MT before the U-19s take the field shortly after at 1:30 p.m.