CHICAGO – Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 will play Southwest Division rival Strikers FC in the semifinal round of the 2013-14 US Soccer Development Academy Playoffs.
As a result of Wednesday’s 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, RSL-AZ qualified for the USSDA Playoff semifinals for the second straight year and find themselves only two wins away from repeating as U-15/16 Development Academy champions.
Strikers FC U-15/16 (13-7-8) finished the regular season in fourth place in the Southwest Division, earning the ninth wildcard entry into the playoffs. Robert Knights and Shinya Kadono, who scored 15 and 20 goals this season, respectively, lead the Strikers attack.
Strikers FC’s path to the semifinals began in Group B in Westfield, Indiana, where they defeated PA Classics and Montreal Impact FC and drew with Seattle Sounders FC to earn their place in the quarterfinals. Strikers FC pulled off the upset in the quarterfinals, beating number one overall seed New York Red Bulls on the road in penalty kicks to reach the semifinals.
RSL won each of the two prior matchups this year against Strikers FC. The first, at Grande Sports World in January, was a 2-1 win with goals from Sebastian “Bofo” Saucedo and Justen Glad. The rematch came on the road in May, a 3-1 win with goals from “Bofo,” Josh Doughty and Terrell Lowe.
The semifinal match kicks off at 7:00 pm on Thursday, July 17th at StubHub Center Field 1. In the other semifinal matchup, LA Galaxy have the home field advantage when they take on Chicago Magic PSG.