WESTFIELD, Ind. – Entering Friday’s match with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri, Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 knew that a win or draw would guarantee their place at the top of Group F and a spot in the 2013-14 US Soccer Development Academy Playoff Quarterfinals. However, they were unable to get the needed result, falling 2-0 to SLSG MO and advancing via goal differential over Georgia United, who RSL-AZ defeated earlier in the week 5-2.

From the opening whistle, RSL-AZ looked to start where they left off in their previous match and score early. In the 6th minute, Diego Silva crossed the ball in low from the left wing, but it was blocked away by the SLSG MO defense. Two minutes later, a cross found the head of Sebastian Saucedo from point-blank range, but the shot went straight at the SLSG MO keeper, keeping the game scoreless.

In the 16th minute, “Diablo” Silva was played through on goal, sprinting past the SLSG MO defense for a good shot that forced a fantastic save from the SLSG MO goalkeeper. That would not be the first time the keeper would be heard from on the day.

Five minutes later, “Bofo” Saucedo found space on the left wing, cutting in onto his right foot and shooting, forcing another big save from the keeper to preserve the clean sheet.

Entering the last ten minutes of the first half, SLSG MO began to find more time on the ball, having survived the early attacking onslaught from RSL-AZ. In the 36th minute, SLSG MO’s patience paid off as they scored against the run of play from an Alex Ciaramitaro goal, taking a 1-0 lead at the stroke of half time and deflating all of the momentum that RSL-AZ had built up over the course of the half.

With only moments to go until the half time break, “Diablo” was brought down from behind in the SLSG MO box by their keeper, but the referee decided not to call a foul. RSL-AZ felt hard done by as the half time whistle blew, trailing 1-0 despite numerous scoring opportunities in the opening 40 minutes.

At the start of the second half, the teams appeared to be much more evenly matched. In the 53rd minute, Silva was brought down in the box once again by the SLSG MO defense, and the official once again chose not to give a penalty to RSL-AZ.

Four minutes later, RSL-AZ’s Tate Schmitt curled a corner into the box, finding the head of Miles Stray who launched the ball at the top corner of goal, but the SLSG MO keeper made yet another clutch save, this time to keep their 1-0 lead intact.

In the 58th minute, SLSG MO ran out on the break, scoring against the run of play from a Brendan McDonough goal to take a 2-0 lead. Following their second goal, SLSG MO was content to sit back, defend and maintain possession. Already out of contention to advance to the quarterfinals, the three points were enough for SLSG MO on the day.

As SLSG MO continued to sit back, RSL-AZ earned a few free kick opportunities in the area surrounding goal in the final ten minutes of play. While a few free kicks generated chances and challenged the keeper, the SLSG MO keeper was simply unbeatable on the day.

The final whistle blew, giving St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri U-15/16 the 2-0 win over RSL-AZ. Following the whistle, RSL-AZ looked to the neighboring field to see the conclusion of New Jersey Soccer Academy 04 vs. Georgia United, knowing the result would decide their playoff fate.

Georgia United scored two goals in the final ten minutes of play to win 2-0, but it wasn’t enough to make up the goal differential against RSL-AZ, sending the defending National Champions through to the Quarterfinals of the 2013-14 US Soccer Development Academy Playoffs.

“I think we did good in the first half, we had a lot of chances but we couldn’t put it away,” said Silva. “A lot of players put their heads down including me, and I think we need to just keep our heads up and be ready for [the quarterfinals].”

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 will host their quarterfinal match on either July 7th or 9th at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Arizona. The time, date and opponent for the match will be announced soon.

“[Playing at home] is definitely a positive thing because we have the advantage and we do very well when we’re at home,” said Silva. “We’re undefeated at home so I know that we’re going to do well as a team and we just have to keep working.”

Group F Wins Draws Losses Points Goals For Goals Against
Real Salt Lake-Arizona U-15/16 2 0 1 6 8 5
Georgia United U-15/16 2 0 1 6 5 5
St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri U-15/16 1 0 2 3 2 3
New Jersey Soccer Academy 04 U-15/16 1 0 2 3 3 5

Scoring Summary

Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16


St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri U-15/16

36’ – Alex Ciaramitaro
58’ – Brendan McDonough


Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16

Christian Herrera
Aaron Herrera
Miles Stray
Nicholas LaMonica
Gavino Carranza
Danilo Acosta
Adolfo Ovalle
Tate Schmitt
Diego Silva (Tyler Feeley, 53’)
Evan Waldrep (Terrell Lowe, 62’)
Sebastian Saucedo

Unused Substitutes: Josh Doughty, Kristopher Fourcand, Alexander Knox, Conor Orton, Fahot Yogol

St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri U-15/16

Joshua Burnett
Alex Ciaramitaro
Taner Dogan (Sean Gouveia, 41’)
Keegan Gordon (Ryan Matteo, 41’)
Brendan McDonough
Chase Niece (Justin Stinson, 59’)
Connor Openlander (Andrew Nuelle, 41’)
Alex Palazzolo
Brandon Santel
Mark Skrivan
Ben Weber (Bryce Johnson, 62’)

Unused Substitutes: Ado Jahic


Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16

Yellow – Gavino Carranza
Yellow – Nicholas LaMonica

St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri U-15/16

Yellow – Alex Ciaramitaro
Yellow – Mark Skrivan