The Real Salt Lake Academy will return to action after a lengthy winter break when it takes on the Santa Cruz Breakers on January 20 to open the new year. Ahead of the matches against the Breakers, the RSL Academy will use its positive start from 2017 to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy season to continue its push toward the top of the Southwest U-17 and U-19 standings.
The U-17s currently sit in second place in the league’s Southwest Division with a 7-2-3 record (24 points). The U-19 group also sits in second place in the league’s Southwest Division and after its first draw of the season, carries with it a 9-2-1 (27 points) record.
The last time the Academy sides took the field on December 9, the U-17s walked away with a 7-0 victory against Strikers FC before the older group earned a 2-2 draw. FW Ben Ortiz notched a hat trick in the victory as DF Zackery Farnsworth and MFs Luis Arriaga and Adrian Virgen all earning goals in the win. GK David Ochoa played the full 90 minutes and earned the shutout in the victory.
In the older group’s match, FW Sebastian Soto scored both goals in the game, adding to his astounding goal tally in 2017. A member of the U-19s, Soto currently stands as the leader in the “Golden Boot” race on the U-19 U.S. Soccer Development Academy scoring charts with 23 goals in just 12 matches. Soto has scored six goals in his last four matches.
The RSL Academy sides will have one more week to prepare for the matchup with the Santa Cruz Breakers Academy on January 20 at the Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman. The U-17s will open proceedings after the holiday break at 11:00 a.m. MT with the U-19s following at 1:30 p.m. MT. Admission is free and fans are strongly encouraged to attend. The Academy’s full match schedule can be viewed here: rsla.ussoccerda.com.