PHOENIX – It was disappointment across the board at Fear Farm Sports Complex as all three Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite teams competing at the Tuzos Soccer Challenge failed to win their age groups.
Hopes were high following a strong finish at the 36th Annual North Hunting Beach Cup, but a combined record of 2-5-2 for RSL-AZ Elite U-16, U-17 and U-18 was not enough for any of the teams to advance to the finals of their brackets, let alone win them.
After a win for RSL-AZ Elite U-17 to open the competition on day one, the results went the complete opposite direction on day two of the Tuzos Soccer Challenge.
In the early matches of the day, RSL-AZ Elite U-18 fell to CCV Stars 2-3, U-16 drew with FBSL Salsa 1-1, U-17 lost to CCV Stars 2-3 and U-16 drew with FBSL Real Tuzos 1-1.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-18 0-1 Valparaiso United
In the finale of day two at the Tuzos Soccer Challenge, RSL-AZ Elite U-18 took on Valparaiso United in an effort to end the day on a positive note after a number of disappointing results.
Unfortunately, the match started off poorly, with Valparaiso jumping out to an early 1-0 lead from a corner kick in the 4th minute.
Two minutes later, a Valparaiso player was sent off with his second yellow card for excessive physical play, granting RSL-AZ a huge man advantage for the remaining 54 minutes of the match.
Despite the advantage and numerous chances created throughout the rest of the match, RSL-AZ simply couldn’t put the ball into the back of the net, ending the day at Tuzos without a win.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-17 1-0 FBSL Club America
With an opportunity to advance to the final with a win and some help in the other match, RSL-AZ Elite U-17 was motivated to get the result against FBSL Club America.
In the 20th minute, RSL-AZ won a free kick from just outside the 18 yard box. Mikey Lanzetta stepped up and curled the ball over the wall and into the crossbar, where a waiting Alex Vedamanikam jumped on the rebound and put it in for the 1-0 lead.
With the sun and humidity wearing down teams, a mandatory water break at the midway point of each half was required for all games on day three of the Tuzos tournament.
RSL-AZ’s superior fitness, the weather conditions and Club America having a player sent off in the 55th minute combined to allow the Claret-and-Cobalt to capture the 1-0 win. However, with CCV Stars’ win over Phoenix Premier FC, RSL-AZ failed to advance to the U-17 final with two wins and one loss.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16 0-1 SC Del Sol Banat
With a win and goal difference enough to advance to the U-16 final, RSL-AZ Elite U-16 had everything to play for against SC Del Sol Banat.
RSL-AZ looked strong early, with their best chance coming in the 11th minute when Suraphael Mbonisi crossed low to Josh Allison, who shot the ball up and over the crossbar.
Moments later, Banat struck on the counter, getting in behind the RSL-AZ defense and scoring to take a 1-0 lead.
Despite numerous opportunities for RSL-AZ over the remaining 45 minutes of the game, the 16s failed to score a goal and failed to advance to the final of the competition.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-18 0-1 FC Bravo
With two losses to open the tournament, RSL-AZ Elite U-18 were playing for pride in their final match in Phoenix against FC Bravo.
After a back-and forth opening to the game, FC Bravo took hold of the lead in the 13th minute when a counter down the right wing all the way to the end line resulted in a cross to the back post for a tap-in opener.
In what would wind up being a theme for the competition, RSL-AZ failed to score following an early conceded goal, with the 18s finishing the competition with three losses and looking to regroup moving forward in the season.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite return to Phoenix on Saturday, September 13 for the opening weekend of Arizona State League play. RSL-AZ Elite U-16 take on Phoenix Premier FC at 12:35 p.m., followed by RSL-AZ Elite U-17 versus Legacy at 2:20 p.m. and finally RSL-AZ Elite U-18 against Valparaiso United at 4:15 p.m., with all three matches being played on Reach 11 Field 10.
You can find the tables for the Tuzos Soccer Challenge Brackets for Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16, U-17 and U-18 below.
|Boys U16 Gold Bracket B||Matches Played||Wins||Losses||Draws||Goals For||Goals Against||Points|
|SC Del Sol Banat||3||2||1||0||4||3||17|
|FBSL Real Tuzos||3||0||1||2||2||3||8|
|RSL-AZ Elite U-16||3||0||1||2||2||3||8|
|Boys U17 Gold Bracket A||Matches Played||Wins||Losses||Draws||Goals For||Goals Against||Points|
|RSL-AZ Elite U-17||3||2||1||0||5||4||18|
|FBSL Club America||3||0||2||1||3||5||6|
|Phoenix Premier FC||3||0||2||1||3||6||6|
|Men U18 Gold||Matches Played||Wins||Losses||Draws||Goals For||Goals Against||Points|
|RSL-AZ Elite U-18||3||0||3||0||2||5||2|