The RSL-AZ u18 boys looked to continue their great eight game unbeaten streak by playing the powerful and technical Seattle Sounders side. It was to be the third MLS Academy that RSL-AZ has faced and all of the boys and staff were looking forward to this game with high anticipation.
Right off of the first whistle RSL-AZ began to dominate the game in possession. The field was turf but the dimensions of the field were much bigger allowing both teams the ability to play some good soccer. For the first 10 minutes or so both teams were still trying to figure each other out, no one wanting to make that crucial first mistake.
As the game wore on RSL-AZ began to create a few half chances and began to slowly take control of the match. However saying that, RSL-AZ were very wary of the threat that Seattle possessed.
Finally after 20 minutes the game began to settle down and RSL created some great scoring opportunities. Seattle had no answers for the split second counter attacks and soon wave after wave of attacks were threatening the Seattle goal. A number of good saves from the Seattle goalkeeper and near misses kept the game zero zero as the game was approaching halftime. But a moment of brilliance, a lighting quick counter attack, found Nicolo Muniz 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper who calmy dribbled around the goalkeeper and slotted the ball into the back of the net. Seattle was shell shocked. Two minutes later the referee blew the half time whistle and RSL-AZ walked off the field very good about their first half performance.
The message to the group at halftime was one of calmness and reminding them of their individual responsibilities and team duties. There was still 45 minutes to play and Seattle would be throwing everything forward. The questions was could RSL-AZ steal a second goal and seal this match and would they be able to withstand the direct pressure that Seattle was going to throw their way.
As expected Seattle in the second half resorted to a more direct style of play while throwing a lot of numbers forward, in hopes of finding that tying goal. That tying goal never came as Seattle had no solutions for the RSL-AZ defense and how to break them down.
The game ended 1-0 for RSL-AZ in what was a great team effort and a team that is playing with a lot of confidence at the moment. Their unbeaten streak continues and the fantastic team spirit, family mentality is really paying off for this group. It’s back to work for the 18’s as their next match is against in-conference rival Real So Cal at Grande Sports World, Sunday February 20th at 10:00am.