CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy found its winning form on Sunday as Nomads SC came to town, with a 2-1 and 4-0 win against the visitors helping to get the Claret-and-Cobalt back on track in U.S. Soccer Development Academy play.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18 2-1 Nomads SC
After a three-game winless streak, RSL-AZ U-17/18 entered their match with Nomads SC in desperate need of a win to right the ship.
From the beginning of the game, the Claret-and-Cobalt were the stronger of the two sides, creating shot after shot but failing to find the back of the net.
In the 30th minute Nomads struck the first blow of the game, hitting a free kick from near the left corner flag into the box that was headed in by Saul Aquino for the smash-and-grab 1-0 lead.
RSL-AZ failed to get a goal back before the half time break, but in the 57th minute a Jose Hernandez cross came in low to Damian German, whose shot into the roof of goal evened up the game at 1-1.
After the equalizer, RSL-AZ once again dominated all aspects of the game but struggled to find the go-ahead goal.
In the 84th minute Brooks Lennon finally broke the deadlock, bursting through the Nomads defense with the ball and finishing past the keeper for the late 2-1 lead.
Thanks to a late clutch save from Luis “Wicho” Barraza, RSL-AZ U-17/18 were able to hold on for the 2-1 win.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 4-0 Nomads SC
In the second half of the Sunday doubleheader at Grande Sports World, Nomads looked motivated to get a win of their own against RSL-AZ U-15/16.
After a strong early start from the visitors that was shut down by the Claret-and-Cobalt back line, RSL-AZ struck back in the 26th minute when Innocent Twishime shot low for the 1-0 lead.
Three minutes later, goalkeeper David Preys dove on a ball for the save and launched a counter attack, culminating in a chipped shot for a goal from Aristotle Zarris and a 2-0 RSL-AZ lead at the half time break.
In the 44th minute, McKay Eves fired a loose ball from a corner kick into the back of the net to extend the Claret-and-Cobalt lead to three goals.
RSL-AZ closed out the scoring action in the 51st minute when Isaias German put in a goal from a corner kick, notching his first career academy goal and matching his brother Damian’s scoring tally for the day with the 18s.
The Claret-and-Cobalt finished out the game with more strong play in all parts of the field, completing their shutout of Nomads SC in the 4-0 win.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy hits the road next weekend for a pair of USSDA showdowns against Arsenal FC on Saturday, November 1 at Norco College and Real So Cal on Sunday, November 2 at Oak Park High School.