CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – A bicycle kick goal from Aaron Herrera that set the Internet ablaze proved to be only the brightest highlight of many in a comprehensive 9-0 Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18 win over Arsenal FC on Saturday, with the 16s falling to their Southwest Division foes by a score of 2-0.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-17/18 9-0 Arsenal FC
Herrera’s third goal may have been the one that made SportsCenter’s Top 10, but his first was just as nice, rising up over a crowd of Arsenal defenders to head home a corner from Amar Sejdic.
In the 37th minute, Edgar Duran set up Diego “Diablo” Silva with a pinpoint pass for a one-touch Silva finish to double the RSL-AZ U-17/18 lead before half time.
RSL-AZ wasted no time in the second half, with Jose Hernandez and Duran each netting a goal inside the first ten minutes to extend the lead to 4-0.
Herrera then stepped back into the spotlight, first scoring a near-identical goal to his first of the game in the 64th minute thanks to another corner from Sejdic.
In the 70th minute, Erik Holt found himself 35 yards from goal with plenty of space and played a perfect long ball toward the far post to a waiting Herrera, who leapt at the perfect moment to score a spectacular bicycle kick goal to extend the lead to six.
Danny Moreno notched two goals of his own off the bench while Sejdic notched a late goal of his own to round out the dominant 9-0 score line.
Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy U-15/16 0-2 Arsenal FC
Hoping to capitalize on the momentum from their dramatic 1-0 road win over the San Diego Surf, RSL-AZ U-15/16 immediately struck out on the wrong foot against Arsenal, conceding a counterattacking goal to Davis Moreno-Jaime in the 7th minute to go down a goal early.
After a couple of near misses from Efren “Junior” Estrada, Brian Gonzalez doubled the Arsenal lead in the 28th minute, scoring from a corner kick to double their lead against a frustrated RSL-AZ team.
Despite dominating both possession and chance creation in the remainder of the game, RSL-AZ U-15/16 failed to score the rest of the way and fell to Arsenal by a 2-0 final score.
This weekend the Claret-and-Cobalt play their second of three March home games as they host Strikers FC, the team that RSL-AZ U-15/16 defeated in the national semifinals last season.