CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy were able to take all six points on Saturday night at Grande Sports World against Chivas USA in what would turn out to be a rainy desert evening.
RSL-AZ U-17/18 overcame a 2-0 half time deficit to defeat the Goats 4-3 while the U-15/16 team showed their growing chemistry in a 2-0 shutout victory.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18 4-3 Chivas USA
From the opening whistle, RSL-AZ U-17/18 showcased their superior quality, firing shot after shot at the Chivas USA goal in search of an opener.
In the 16th minute, Amar Sejdic served up a free kick from 35 yards out to Erik Holt, whose header from inside the Chivas box lofted just over the crossbar.
Less than ten minutes later, Jose Hernandez worked his way into the Chivas box near the end line and was brought down, but no foul was called by the referee.
With less than five minutes to go in the half, Chivas USA were able to get the ball into the RSL-AZ third, scoring on a shot that ricocheted off several players before bouncing past goalkeeper Luis “Wicho” Barraza.
Only one minute from half time, RSL-AZ U-17/18 gave up the ball in their own half, gifting Chivas USA’s Michael Flores a one-on-one that he scored on a chip over Barraza.
Entering the second half two goals down despite dominating the game, the Claret-and-Cobalt came out determined to come back and get the result.
In the 52nd minute, Hernandez played the ball to an open Edgar Duran at the edge of the Chivas box, who fired past the keeper to cut the deficit in half.
Moments later, on a near-identical play, Duran scored from the top of the 18 once more to tie the game up at two goals apiece.
Shortly after the equalizer, an RSL-AZ counter attack on the left wing got Diego Silva an open shot on goal from the corner of the Chivas box, which he rocketed to the far corner of goal to give RSL it’s third tally in less than ten minutes and the lead.
Duran completed his hat trick in the 67th minute, giving RSL-AZ a dominating 4-2 lead in a much closer reflection of the play on the field than the scoreboard had shown.
With just over 15 minutes left to play, RSL-AZ U-17/18 gave away another goal to Chivas from a turnover on the back line, reducing the lead back to one.
The Claret-and-Cobalt would hang on for the win and all three points despite the nervous moments toward the end of the match.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 2-0 Chivas USA
In search of a winning streak after their first victory of the season against Strikers FC, RSL-AZ U-15/16 were fired up for their 7:30 p.m. kickoff against the Goats under the lights at Grande Sports World.
Early in the game, RSL striker Kris Fourcand was fouled by the last Chivas defender on a breakaway, but only a yellow card was shown to the player.
In the 14th minute, a corner found its way to the feet of Aidan Dayton from right in front of goal but his shot was blocked away at the last moment to maintain the scoreless tie.
Aristotle Zarris opened the scoring for RSL-AZ in the 30th minute, dribbling past three defenders and finishing with his laces to take a 1-0 lead into half time.
Three minutes into the second half, Innocent Twishime broke out behind the Chivas USA defense, rounding the keeper for a would-be easy goal, but the Chivas keeper dove into the legs of Twishime, earning a red card and a penalty for RSL.
Erik “Gallo” Virgen stepped up to the spot and finished the penalty past the backup keeper to double the Claret-and-Cobalt’s lead.
With a two-goal lead and a one-man advantage, RSL-AZ U-15/16 simply needed to run out the clock to earn their second straight win.
In the 63rd minute Chivas USA had their best chance of the game, getting past the RSL defense on a counter, but goalkeeper Conor Orton snatched the ball away to help keep the clean sheet.
The final whistle sounded for a 2-0 RSL-AZ win, securing another three points and a shutout for the U-15/16 team as they look to continue their climb up the table following the rocky start to the season.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18 and U-15/16 take their two-game winning streaks on the road this weekend to Washington, where they’ll face off against Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, October 4th at Starfire Sports Complex and Crossfire Premier on Sunday, October 5th at Redmond High School.