PHOENIX – The Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams played the Sueño Alianza (Alianza Dream Team) on Sunday, defeating their U-16 and U-19 teams 5-1 and 4-3, respectively.
Sueño Alianza was assembled as part of the Alianza de Futbol, a travelling soccer tournament throughout the US. The teams facing RSL-AZ Elite were selected following a tryout in March, setting up Sunday’s two game series.
RSL-AZ Elite U-15/16 overwhelmed Sueño Alianza U-16 in the first game, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to a Fahot Yogol goal and nearly doubling it in the 23rd minute after drawing a penalty, but the chance was saved. Following the quick start, the game started to even out and the score line remained at 1-0 at half time.
From the opening whistle of the second half, Real Salt Lake-Arizona reasserted their dominance. Only two minutes in (to the 35 minute half), RSL-AZ broke out on the counter and passed across the face of goal for the easy put away to go up 2-0. In the 48th minute, RSL-AZ Elite U-15/16 broke out once again and scored this time by nutmegging the keeper.
Just two minutes later, the elites scored again to take a 4-0 lead over Sueño Alianza, rounding the keeper and slotting home into a wide open net. RSL-AZ extended the lead to five goals only ten minutes later before conceding at the end of the game to win by a score of 5-1. Fahot Yogol and Richie Navarro each scored twice while Julian Gauna added one of his own.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona U-17/18 then took the field against Alianza Sueño U-19 to cap off the day’s games. Following an even stretch of play to open the game, Patricio Yrizar opened the scoring in the eighth minute to give RSL-AZ the 1-0 lead. In the 25th minute, Jesus Avelar crossed into the middle for the Guilherme Leme finish to double the elites’ lead heading into halftime.
In the 48th minute, Alianza Sueño scored to close the lead to 2-1 and began storming back into the game. 13 minutes later, Alianza struck again, evening up the game at two apiece before scoring again only two minutes after that to take a stunning three goals to two lead with less than ten minutes left to play.
RSL-AZ Elite U-17/18 were not to be discouraged, however, and responded only three minutes later with a goal by Etiandro Tavares to even the game at three goals each with only four minutes left to play. In the first minute of stoppage time, Tavares was brought down in the box to give RSL-AZ a penalty kick and an opportunity to win the game. Radu Marcu stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the penalty home to give RSL-AZ Elite U-17/18 the 4-3 lead and the win over Sueño Alianza.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-15/16 and U-17/18 have both finished their seasons. RSL-AZ Academy U-15/16 and U-17/18 head to Westfield, Indiana from June 23-27 for the Development Academy Playoffs and Showcase.