WESTFIELD, Ind. – With less than 24 hours to go until Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy’s first match of the opening round of the 2013-14 US Soccer Development Academy Playoffs, the U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams are wrapping up their final training sessions in preparation for the upcoming three games in four days on the calendar.
“The preparations went great,” said RSL-AZ Head Coach Martin Vasquez. “Having three weeks of being at the academy preparing, we all feel that it went very well. Now, it’s trying to acclimate as soon as possible to the time change and the little bit of humidity here.”
The U-17/18 team play their first match on Monday, June 23rd against Indiana Fire Academy U-17/18 at 12:15 pm on Field 29 at Grand Park. “This is home for them, they’re used to this and they’re a good team,” said Vasquez. “We’ve got to be prepared, we’ve got to stick to the tactics, and we feel that our quality and our style of play will continue to create opportunities.”
RSL-AZ U-17/18 will have to play without Eric Carbajal and Te Wihongi in the first match, with both players suspended due to cards earned in their final regular season game against Portland Timbers U-17/18.
Defending National Champions Real Salt Lake-AZ U-15/16 kick off against New Jersey Soccer Academy 04 U-15/16 on Tuesday, June 24th at 4:30 pm on Field 13. “The 16s have a huge target on their backs. Every game, whether it’s the first game, second game or third game, the teams are going to come out and try to beat our 16s because it’s a big game for them. We are aware the mental aspect is huge and I think our boys are well prepared,” said Vasquez.
Click here for Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy’s complete playoff schedule. Check back throughout the week for match reports and other news from the 2013-14 USSDA Playoffs.