WESTFIELD, Ind. – After going into half time down by a goal, a second half hat trick from Sebastian Saucedo propelled Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 to a 3-1 victory over New Jersey Soccer Academy 04 U-15/16.

The reigning US Soccer Development Academy U-15/16 National Champions started the game on the attack, winning a free kick 30 yards from goal inside the first five minutes of the game. Saucedo stepped up and fired the free kick at goal, but NJSA’s goalkeeper Zachary Hoffman made a good save to keep the game scoreless.

More of the same continued over the next ten minutes, as RSL-AZ maintained possession in NJSA’s third of the pitch and won two more free kicks from inside 25 yards. One attempt went over the crossbar and the other straight into the hands of Hoffman, never seriously threatening for a goal.

In the 23rd minute, NJSA struck back on a counter attack, creating their first serious scoring opportunity of the night when a deflected shot missed the goal by mere inches. In the 32nd minute, NJSA’s Alexander Soto ran onto a clearance from his defense, which bounced just out of the reach of RSL-AZ goalkeeper Christian Herrera, allowing Soto to finish into an open goal to give NJSA the 1-0 lead.

Following another counter attack that Herrera was able to save, NJSA took the 1-0 lead into half time, hopeful that they’d be able to upset the defending National Champs.

Ten minutes into the second half, RSL-AZ began attacking with renewed intensity. In the 50th minute, RSL-AZ won a penalty when a player was brought down in the box with his back to goal. Midfielder Tate Schmitt stepped up for the penalty and put it low to Hoffman’s left, but the in-form NJSA keeper made another key save, preserving his team’s 1-0 lead.

Five minutes later, Saucedo was brought down by NJSA’s Cristian Martinez from just outside the penalty box. The last defender on the play, Martinez was shown a straight red card, giving RSL-AZ a one-man advantage for the remainder of the game. That play paid off immediately, as “Bofo” Saucedo drove the free kick into the back of the net, evening the game up at 1-1.

As RSL-AZ began to apply pressure in the 70th minute, Saucedo found space from 25 yards out and fired a shot at goal, scoring to give RSL-AZ a 2-1 lead. “Bofo” sealed the result in stoppage time, scoring, once again, from just outside the top of the 18 yard box to give RSL-AZ a 3-1 lead.

“Every time we come to playoffs, we don’t know what the other team’s going to give, we just know the formation and the key players they have,” said Saucedo. “I think that it was difficult for us to play the first 15 minutes, but once we got a rhythm going, we ended up being the better team.”

With the 3-1 win against New Jersey Soccer Academy 04 and Georgia United’s 1-0 win over St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri, RSL-AZ find themselves at the top of Group F after the first round of group games in the 2013-14 US Soccer Development Academy playoffs.

Group F Wins Draws Losses Points Goals For Goals Against
Real Salt Lake-Arizona U-15/16 1 0 0 3 3 1
Georgia United U-15/16 1 0 0 3 1 0
St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri U-15/16 0 0 1 0 0 1
New Jersey Soccer Academy 04 U-15/16 0 0 1 0 1 3

Click here for Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy’s complete playoff schedule. Click here for a breakdown of all of the teams that RSL-AZ U-15/16 and U-17/18 will be facing this week in Indiana.

Scoring Summary

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16

55’ – Sebastian Saucedo
70’ – Sebastian Saucedo
82’ – Sebastian Saucedo

New Jersey Soccer Academy 04 U-15/16

32’ – Alexander Soto


Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16

Christian Herrera
Aaron Herrera
Miles Stray
Gavino Carranza
Diego Silva
Danilo Acosta
Adolfo Ovalle
Tate Schmitt (Terrell Lowe, 73’)
Evan Waldrep (Alex Knox, 60’)
Josh Doughty
Sebastian Saucedo

Unused Substitutes: Conor Orton, Nicholas LaMonica, Tyler Feeley, Fahot Yogol, Kristopher Fourcand

New Jersey Soccer Academy 04 U-15/16

Andres Camacho-Tenreiro (Cooper Tubiana, 72’)
Nicholas Cousillas
Michael Gallo (Sam Karnofsky, 74’)
Joshua Goldstern
Dylan Greenblatt
Kyle Gurrieri
Richie Gutierrez (Bamidele Adu, 40’)
Zachary Hoffman
Cristian Martinez
Sean McSherry
Alexander Soto

Unused Substitutes: Greg Reimer


Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16

Yellow – Gavino Carranza

New Jersey Soccer Academy 04 U-15/16

Yellow – Bamidele Adu
Yellow – Kyle Gurrieri
Yellow – Sean McSherry
Red – Cristian Martinez