The Real Salt Lake Academy opens its 2018-19 season this weekend in what is sure to be another promising season for Head Coach Martín Vasquez’s group. RSL will begin its season on Saturday when it visits Portland Timbers before heading north to Seattle to face the Sounders on Sunday.
After bowing out in last year’s Western Division playoffs, both the U-17s and U-19s look to make a deeper run into the playoffs in 2018. The U-17s will be led by Zackery Farnsworth and Bode Davis who last season featured in 57 total matches for RSL while making 50 starts between the pair. For the U-19s, striker Benjamin Ortiz and Luis Arriaga will look to build on last season’s goal-scoring performances where Ortiz notched 21 goals in 26 appearances with Arriaga scoring 13 goals in 16 appearances for the U-17s. With the U-19s graduating eleven seniors at the end of last season, the teams will be aiming to develop new leaders to shine in the RSL Academy in 2018.
New Year, New Faces
One of the most highly touted Academy programs in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy ranks, RSL welcomes 23 new faces to the U-17 and U-19 sides as well as goalkeeper coach Mirza Harambasic. The teams both see an abundance of new faces as the season gets underway with the new guys looking to help expand and improve upon last season’s West division quarterfinal playoff appearance.
During the 2017-18 season the RSL Academy saw three players make their professional debuts with the Real Monarchs of the USL’s Western Conference, with six total players either featuring on the field or in a matchday 18. Goalkeeper David Ochoa along with midfielders Richard Ledezma and Glademir Mendoza all made their professional debuts last season for the Monarchs. Continuing the pipeline of developing professional players, the RSL Academy aims to continue sending players through the professional ranks of the RSL pyramid over the course of the 2018-19 season. Be sure to secure tickets to possibly see RSL Academy representatives and the West-leading Monarchs here.
Last season, a plurality of players featured for their respective national teams with the USYNT being the most prominent. Technical Director Tab Ramos heaped praise upon the representatives from the RSL Academy last season with 2018 being no different. Players on the current roster that have featured for the USYNT are Julian Vasquez, Erwin Martinez, Luis Arriaga along with Farnsworth, with others likely to be summoned throughout the season.
As the season gets underway for the Academy, check out RSL.com for all the latest Academy information over the course of the season.