Soccer Recap: RSL-AZ U-15/16 defeat San Jose to reach Development Academy semifinals

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CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – A delayed and restarted match due to severe weather caused serious headaches at Grande Sports World on Tuesday and Wednesday, but it didn’t stop Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 from advancing to the semifinals of the 2013-14 US Soccer Development Academy Playoffs with a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes.

After 28 minutes of dominating play from RSL-AZ on Tuesday night that resulted in goals from Josh Doughty and Brooks Lennon, the match was halted and later called off because of approaching storms. Due to Development Academy rules and regulations, the match was restarted from the beginning on Wednesday morning with a 0-0 score.

Having seen RSL’s attack for almost 30 minutes the prior night, San Jose was much better prepared in the restarted match. From the opening kickoff, the combination of San Jose’s improved defense and some poor buildup play from RSL resulted in far fewer chances for the reigning National Champions.

RSL’s first real scoring chance of the day came in the 13th minute when Josh Doughty connected with Evan Waldrep, who found a wide-open Brooks Lennon. Lennon’s shot rocketed above the crossbar, the first of many chances on the day that RSL would fail to convert. In the 19th minute, Waldrep would again provide service for a teammate, holding up the ball 20 yards from goal until Diego Silva found space on the left wing, shooting from the edge of the box and forcing a deflection away for a corner kick.

The next major opportunity came in the 38th minute, when a Sebastian Saucedo cross from the left wing bounced out of the box to the feet of Waldrep, whose shot forced a difficult diving save from the San Jose goalkeeper. On the ensuing corner, the ball found the head of Justen Glad, whose shot was blocked by the San Jose player guarding the far post. The game remained scoreless through the half time break.

RSL showed a renewed attacking drive from the opening whistle of the second half, creating scoring chances straight away. In the 44th minute, Lennon passed the ball to the top of the 18-yard box to a waiting Danilo Acosta, whose shot flew over the crossbar, failing to challenge the San Jose keeper. With RSL pressing on the attack, San Jose was able to find some space behind the defense on the counter. RSL goalkeeper Christian Herrera was forced in several moments to make leaping saves to stop San Jose’s crossing attack from the wings.

In the 60th minute, RSL finally broke through when Waldrep, once again finding space at the top of the 18, received the ball and fired home, sending the ball off of a San Jose defender and into the back of the net to give RSL the 1-0 lead.

Shortly after the opening goal, San Jose caught RSL sleeping, lobbing the ball up field and onto the feet of a streaking attacker. RSL’s Miles Stray sprinted back, breaking up the play with a beautiful sliding clearance on the lobbed pass. Two minutes later, “Diablo” Silva charged down the left wing, crossing to a sprinting “Bofo” Saucedo, who got his head on the ball for a powerful shot that was directed straight at the San Jose goalkeeper for a save.

Entering the final ten minutes, San Jose began to throw every man forward, desperate for a goal to equalize the game and send it to extra time. In the 73rd minute, San Jose found space on a counter attack, unleashing a shot from 20 yards out and forcing another save from Herrera.

In the fourth minute of stoppage time, a San Jose defender was sent off for his second yellow card after making a reckless challenge from behind on Saucedo, who was protecting the ball in the corner trying to run out clock. Three minutes later, Silva was sent off for his second yellow, earning it after grabbing a San Jose player attempting to lob the ball up field.

The referee blew the final whistle moments later, giving RSL-AZ U-15/16 the 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, sending them to the USSDA semifinals for the second straight year and leaving them only two wins away from repeating as U-15/16 National Champions.

“I thought we did really well,” said Waldrep. “In the first half we had the majority of possession and a lot of chances but we just couldn’t finish… We just kept pushing and pushing and didn’t give them any space and we ended up scoring and getting the win.

“Yesterday, it was only the 28th minute and we were up 2-0, we could have easily gotten a lot more goals, and having to restart after the weather issues, I’ve never seen anything like that, it was crazy,” said Waldrep, who scored his sixth goal of the season with the game-winner. “We all relaxed and we thought, ‘Hey, we were beating them once, we can beat them again’ and we took the same approach as we did yesterday and got the win.

“It’s an amazing feeling. You don’t go to back-to-back nationals, and even if we win in the semifinals and championship game, it would just be crazy to become back-to-back national champions. That would show that RSL is one of the best in the nation and that it’s not just a fluke.”

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy’s next match comes in the US Soccer Development Academy semifinals on Thursday, July 17th in Carson, California. The other three semifinalists are Chicago Magic PSG, LA Galaxy and Strikers FC, all teams that RSL-AZ have beaten this season.

Scoring Summary

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16

60’ – Evan Waldrep

San Jose Earthquakes U-15/16

None

Lineups

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16

Christian Herrera
Aaron Herrera
Miles Stray
Justen Glad
Diego Silva
Danilo Acosta
Adolfo Ovalle (Tate Schmitt, 62’)
Sebastian Saucedo
Evan Waldrep (Gavino Carranza, 64’)
Brooks Lennon (Alex Knox, 78’)
Josh Doughty

Unused Substitutes: Tyler Feeley, Nicholas LaMonica, Terrell Lowe, Conor Orton

San Jose Earthquakes U-15/16

Michael Anderson
Amir Bashti
Jamal Bernardez (Jonathan Partida, 50’)
Rei Dorwart
Alexander Fluitt
Pablo Gervacio
Theo Huxham
Jorge Lara
Shane Penner
Remi Prieur
Ivan Valencia

Unused Substitutes: Rory Birse, Drake Callender, Uriel Cordoba, Yousef Diyab, Rhys Pak, Kevin Perez

Discipline

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16

Yellow – Sebastian Saucedo
Yellow – Diego Silva
Second Yellow – Diego Silva

San Jose Earthquakes U-15/16

Yellow – Theo Huxham
Yellow – Jonathan Partida
Yellow – Jorge Lara
Second Yellow – Jorge Lara

2 Responses to "Soccer Recap: RSL-AZ U-15/16 defeat San Jose to reach Development Academy semifinals"
  1. John Martinez says:

    We can’t make the game unfortunately. Will the semifinals be broadcast on the web or TV?

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