PHOENIX – In a disappointing weekend of competition for Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite, all three teams struggled to find their winning form at the 2014 SC del Sol Banat Southwest Challenge.
While, Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-17 and 18 combined for a draw and three losses, RSL-AZ Elite U-16 fared slightly better, winning two games and drawing one but missing out on the tournament final in a shootout loss.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-18 1-3 SC del Sol 97
On a chilly Friday evening at the Reach 11 Sports Complex, the scoring came almost immediately. SC del Sol scored on a counter attack in the eighth minute, crossing low to the far post for a tap-in opener.
Two minutes later, Martin Lopez struck back to level the game at one goal each, leaving the result and control of the game up in the air.
Shortly before the end of the 40 minute half, a del Sol cross from the left wing drifted in toward goal, sneaking over the head of Jared Osgood and landing just inside the far post for a deflating goal.
In the 50th minute, SC del Sol scored once again, doubling their lead with a half hour left to play. RSL-AZ Elite U-18 were unable to strike back and the tournament hosts took the win.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-17 0-3 SC del Sol 98
SC del Sol scored the first goal of the game in the 25th minute, a free kick that found the head of a player at the near post to give del Sol the 1-0 lead. In the 36th minute, SC del Sol notched a second goal to take a two-goal lead into half time.
The break couldn’t have come any sooner for a struggling Claret-and-Cobalt side. However, it was the opposition that scored in the second half, putting in a goal in the 78th minute for a 3-0 win.
SC del Sol 99 Colavecchia 2-2 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16
The 16s started out strong in their first match of the competition, getting on the board in the 35th minute when Ryan Sirk set-up Alex Vedamanikam for the opening goal just before half time.
Only 20 seconds into the second half, a del Sol defender played a lobbed back pass to his keeper, inadvertently scoring an own goal from long distance and doubling the RSL-AZ lead.
In the 59th minute, SC del Sol recovered from their blunder, scoring on a corner kick to cut the deficit to one. Four minutes from the final whistle, they scored on a second corner to level up the game and finish with a 2-2 draw.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-18 0-0 SC del Sol 98
In another disappointing outing, Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-18 played to a scoreless draw against the SC del Sol 17s. Despite several scoring opportunities for RSL-AZ, they were unable to convert on any of the chances and had to settle for the draw.
SC del Sol 97 2-0 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-17
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-17 put up an admirable fight despite suffering a 2-0 loss against their bigger, stronger and older opposition.
SC del Sol scored on two rebounds; first in the 33rd minute and again in the 63rd. Jason Hernandez made a pair of great saves on the plays but del Sol was able to win the loose balls and secure the victory.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16 5-0 United Latinos
With RSL-AZ five games into the tournament and without a win, the 16s took the field on Saturday night desperate for a positive result.
After a scoreless half hour of play, Nestor Serrano banged home a shot from outside the box to give RSL-AZ Elite U-16 the 1-0 lead. Moises Durazo doubled the lead less than two minutes later, securing a 2-0 half time lead.
In the 59th minute, Alex Vedmanikam played a through ball for Jarrett Shrum, who scored to extend the lead to a commanding 3-0. Ryan Sirk and Shrum added another two goals in the 76th and 78th minutes for the final 5-0 score line.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16 4-0 SC del Sol 99 Petersen
Needing a strong result to stay in contention for a place in the tournament final, Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16 got just that against the second SC del Sol team in their group.
Goals from Jarrett Shrum, Alex Vedamanikam and two from Ben Hensle provided the difference in the matchup, placing the Claret-and-Cobalt in a shootout against SC del Sol 99 Colavecchia with a spot in the final on the line.
SC del Sol 99 Colavecchia 4-3 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-16 fell just short of the Southwest Challenge final in their penalty shootout. Despite one save from Gage Rogers and successful penalty kicks from Ben Hensle, Alex Vedamanikam and Bpen Kareth, SC del Sol took the 4-3 win and the place in the tournament final.
This weekend, all three Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite teams travel to Las Vegas, where RSL-AZ Elite U-16 and 18 compete in the Far West Regional League and RSL-AZ Elite U-17 play in the Las Vegas Thanksgiving Classic.