CASA GRANDE, ARIZ. – The Real Salt Lake – Arizona Elite U-16 won their first tournament of the year Sunday when they defeated SC del Sol U16 team 2-1 in the 2016 Desert Classic Tournament final.
RSL-AZ Elite U-16 took the lead pretty early in the game, netting back-to-back goals from Carlos Jimenez and Alessandro D’Argento before the 20th minute. SC del Sol responded with a goal off a penalty in the 28th minute, but couldn’t find the equalizer and RSL-AZ took the title.
Yet, RSL-AZ Elite U-16 did not have a favorable start to the tournament. They suffered a tough 1-0 loss against SC del Sol U16 during the first match.
RSL-AZ dominated possession for most of the game, but del Sol took advantage of a momentary lapse in the RSL-AZ’s defense during the second half to net the lone goal of the game.
The team didn’t let the loss keep them down and came right back to take all three points in the game against Rush Soccer Select the next day. Chris Ramirez scored in the dying minutes of the game to give Claret and Cobalt the 1-0 win over its opponents and send it to the semi-finals.
By the time RSL-AZ Elite U-16 played their semi-final game, the team had begun to find its form. They defeated the SC del Sol’s U17’s 4-0, with goals from JC Aguirre, Alessandro D’Argento, and Brian Heredia, to advance to the final.
The RSL-AZ Elite U-17 team also participated in the tournament. They advanced to the semi-finals, but fell to the SC del Sol U16 4-2 on penalties.
Over in southern California, the Real Salt Lake – Arizona Academy U-17/18 and U15/16 teams played a double header over the weekend and also found relative success against their fierce rivals LA Galaxy and FC Golden State.
RSL-AZ Academy U17/18 started their weekend with an impressive 4-0 win against FC Golden State, courtesy of goals from Jesus Avelar, Marco Gonzalez, David Ramos, and Miles Stray. On Sunday the team went on to play the LA Galaxy U17/18, and came up short as they lost 2-1. Jesus Avelar, scored the lone goal of the game for RSL-AZ. This was his second goal of the weekend.
RSL-AZ Academy U15/16 drew level in both of their games. Aristotle Zarris scored against FC Golden State U15/16 to draw the first game 1-1, and then again against LA Galaxy U15/16. Alex Vedamanikam added a goal of his own, his sixth of the season, for the 2-2 final scoreagainst LA Galaxy.
This upcoming weekend, the RSL-AZ Elite teams are back in action as they compete in one of the biggest showcases in the country, the President’s Day Tournament.
Here is a schedule of when all the teams will be competing:
-RSL-AZ U-18:- 8:30 a.m. vs. Forza FC 98 Premier @ Reach 11 Sports Complex
3:30 p.m. vs. ISC Gunner FC @ Reach 11 Sports Complex
-RSL-AZ U-16- 1:45 p.m. vs. Omaha FC @ Reach 11 Sports Complex
-RSL-AZ U-15- 8:30 a.m. vs. Colorado Rapids Youth Academy @ North Canyon High School
5:15 p.m. vs. NYSA Celtic @ Paradise Valley High School
-RSL-AZ U-18- 10:15 a.m. vs. MSB United Strikers @ Reach 11 Sports Complex
-RSL-AZ U-16- 10:15 a.m. vs. East Side FC Red @ Reach 11 Sports Complex
7:00 p.m. vs. Pride SC Predators @ Reach 11 Sports Complex
-RSL-AZ U-15- 12:00 p.m. vs. Rio Scorpions @ Paradise Valley High School
You can visit the official President’s Day Tournament Website by clicking here.
RSL-AZ Academy U15/16 team will once again head out to Los Angeles this weekend to compete in the second qualifying event of the 2016 Generation Adidas Cup.
They play the LA Galaxy at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, the Portland Timbers at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, and the Seattle Sounders at 11:00 a.m. on Monday.
All games will be held at the StubHub Center.