CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Despite not bringing any trophies back to Grande Sports World in the first half of the year, Real Salt Lake-Arizona Elite U-18 have had a successful season to date, earning first place in Arizona State League with an undefeated record and reaching the Valparaiso United Invitational tournament final.
“The 18s are the most mature, they’re the team that’s been the most consistent,” said Assistant Coach Mike Kraus. “We have a few players that have been with the program for a year or two and a lot of new guys that came in with a lot of quality.”
That quality manifested itself in Arizona State League Division 2, where RSL-AZ Elite U-18 romped their way to an undefeated record of five wins and two draws, good enough for a first place finish in the league.
“We won State League without losing a game,” said Marcos Hernandez. “As a unit we performed really well together and got the job done.”
The Claret-and-Cobalt’s second-best performance came in the Valparaiso United Invitational tournament, where the team conceded zero goals over the course of the competition, losing the final to the tournament hosts in a penalty shootout.
The highlight of RSL-AZ Elite U-18’s spring schedule comes in March and April, when the team competes in Dallas Cup against some of the top club teams from around the world.
Desert Premier Division: 0-2-1, 3 Goals For, 7 Goals Against
Arizona State League: 5-0-2, 21 Goals For, 6 Goals Against
North Huntington Beach Cup: 1-2-0, 4 Goals For, 7 Goals Against
Tuzos Soccer Challenge: 0-3-0, 2 Goals For, 5 Goals Against
Valparaiso United Invitational Tournament: 3-1-0, 8 Goals For, 2 Goals Against
SC del Sol Banat Southwest Challenge: 0-1-1, 1 Goal For, 3 Goals Against