RSL Academy Enters Lengthy Break Competing for Playoff Positions

The Real Salt Lake Academy enters the month of February after playing 16 regular season matches and now look ahead to a stretch of training where both the U-17s and U-19s do not play for over a month.

The U-19s enter the lengthy break with an 8-3-5 (29 points record), sitting firmly in the second spot in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s Southwest Division standings. Carrying a goal differential of +11 with it, the team is led by top goal-scorer and RSL first teamer Luis Arriaga who has featured in all 16 matches for the team this season. Arriaga has notched eight goals through 16 matches, followed closely by Bryce Duke with seven goals. Duke has appeared in 15 matches for the U-19s and has earned a recent call-up to the U.S. U-18 BNT camp along with teammates Erwin Martinez and David Ochoa.

The U-19 roster features some prominent names as Arriaga and Ochoa together with RSL first-team member Julian Vazquez and have gained valuable experience training with seasoned Major League Soccer veterans during RSL’s preseason.

Vazquez signed his first professional contract with Real Salt Lake last October and was followed closely by Arriaga and Ochoa during the offseason.

For the U-17s, the team currently sits in the fifth spot in the U.S.S.D.A.’s Southwest Division standings having played to a 7-7-2 record (23 points). Forward Paul Paul Gindiri leads the team with 10 goals in 16 matches played. Gindiri ranks second in the West division standings in goals scored, trailing only Massud Habibullah of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-17s by virtue of matches played. Both players have scored 10 goals on the year, but Gindiri has played just four more matches, therefore following closely behind the Whitecaps FC striker who has scored more goals in less matches played.

U-17 goalkeeper Jeff Dewsnup was recently received a U.S. U-15 BNT team camp call-up, highlighting the production and growth of the U-17 side.

The RSL Academy will see the remainder of its regular season matches played at Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman. Seven matches remain in the hunt for a playoff spot and next up for the RSL Academy is a visit from the Barca Academy on March 2. The U-17s will open proceedings at 11:00 a.m. MT followed by the U-19s at 1:30 p.m. MT.

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