CASA GRANDE, ARIZ.- Real Salt Lake-Arizona rounded up a historic weekend Sunday, when RSL-AZ Elite U-16 brought home a third tournament trophy in as many weeks for all RSL-AZ Elite teams. The academy sides also had a victorious weekend taking both games against De Anza Force.
RSL-AZ Elite U-16 had a shaky start to the tournament, managing just one win and two draws in the group stage. Nevertheless, the score was enough to make it into the final game against Scottsdale Soccer Blackhawks Hack.
The Blackhawks were the first to score, and looked the favorites to win the tournament during the first half, but RSL- AZ refused to give up.
Seven minutes into the second half, Bpen Kareth drew a penalty and RSL-AZ U-16 managed to equalize. Just minutes before the final whistle, Zach Gedal broke the deadlock, driving in a header from a corner and giving RSL-AZ U-16 the win at the Blackhawks Max Shacknai Invitational
The RSL-AZ Elite U-18 and U-15 teams also participated in the same tournament, and although both teams performed extremely well, a bit of misfortune knocked the RSL-AZ U-18 and U-15 teams out of the tournament prematurely.
RSL-AZ Elite U-18 went unbeaten in the group stage, drawing only with Scottsdale Soccer Blackhawks Davidson, who themselves were unbeaten. Unfortunately, tournament rules dictated that in case of a tie in points, the team with the least amount of goals allowed, not the greatest goal differential, would advance to the next round, and RSL-AZ U-18 were knocked out as a result.
Real Salt Lake- Arizona U-15 had another strong run in the tournament, making it to the semi-finals before falling 2-0 to SC del Sol.
In Casa Grande, the RSL-AZ U-17/18 and U-15/16 teams defeated De Anza Force 4-1 and 1-0 respectively.
De Anza Force gave RSL-AZ U-17/18 a run for its money in the first half, with several chances on goal. Five minutes in to the second, the California team opened the scoreboard, capitalizing on a quick counter attack opportunity.
But instead of backing down, RSL-AZ stepped up to the challenge and turned things around. Sebastien de Pres equalized three minutes later, and three more goals from Alec Felix, Elijah Rice and Marco Gonzalez gave RSL-AZ U-17/18 the win.
RSL-AZ also managed to pull off a win against the visiting team. Isidro Sanchez gave RSL-AZ the lone goal of the game for the win.