SANTA ANA, Calif. – Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 were able to get over the hump on Sunday in an impressive 3-0 away win over Strikers FC, while the U-17/18 team continued their strong start to the year in a 5-0 win.
Strikers FC 0-5 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18
In a match featuring many of the players from last season’s U.S. Soccer Development Academy semifinal between Strikers FC and RSL-AZ U-15/16, the Claret-and-Cobalt completely overwhelmed their rivals from Southern California in the 5-0 win.
In the 16th minute, a Strikers defender brought down Alex Knox from just outside the 18 yard box for a free kick. Amar Sejdic stepped up for the dead ball and drilled a shot at the top corner of the near post and past the keeper for a beautiful goal.
Three minutes later, a cross from the left wing found its way past the Strikers defense and to the feet of Brooks Lennon at the far post, who threaded the ball between the Strikers keeper and the near post to double the RSL-AZ lead.
Edgar Duran opened the lead to three goals midway through the first half as RSL-AZ continued to rain shots upon the Strikers goal, with their goalkeeper making some spectacular saves to keep the game from getting out of hand.
Moments before the end of the half, Brooks Lennon scored his second, giving the Claret-and-Cobalt a dominating 4-0 lead heading into half time.
In the 65th minute, Alex Knox continued his dominant play moving forward on the right wing, crossing into Danny Moreno who finished from just in front of goal into the roof of net to score his first academy goal.
RSL-AZ’s barrage on goal combined with their dominant defensive play and majority of possession resulted in a comprehensive 5-0 victory over Strikers FC.
Strikers FC 0-3 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16
RSL-AZ U-15/16 finally got the monkey off their back on Sunday, defeating Strikers FC by a score of 3-0 to notch their first USSDA win of the season.
It took 21 minutes for RSL-AZ to open the scoring. Kris Fourcand received the ball from midfield at the top of the 18, turned and fired a rocket through traffic to beat the Strikers keeper and take a 1-0 lead.
In the 34th minute, Aristotle Zarris found Josh Drack deep in the Strikers box for the goal to double the RSL-AZ lead minutes before half time.
The Claret-and-Cobalt continued their strong play in the second half, creating many scoring opportunities but having difficulties converting another goal.
With less than four minutes left to play, Zarris scored his third goal of the weekend, getting the ball unmarked off a deflected cross for an easy put away. Zarris’ strong weekend performances against Strikers and Pateadores earned him U.S. Soccer Academy Player of the Week honors.
The final whistle sounded with the score at 3-0, securing the clean sheet over both games between Strikers FC and RSL-AZ.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy have the weekend off before welcoming Chivas USA for a pair of evening games on Saturday, September 27 at Grande Sports World, with RSL-AZ U-17/18 kicking off at 5:00 p.m. and the U-15/16 team following at 7:30.