HERRIMAN – Real Salt Lake defeated the RSL Academy U-19’s team 3-1 Monday night inside their new indoor training facility at the Zion’s Bank Real Academy. It was the first live game action for RSL as they wrapped up their first week of preseason training before hitting the road. The match featured three 30 minute periods as head coach Mike Petke fielded three separate 11 man teams consisting of first team RSL players mixed with members of the Real Monarchs SLC.
Here’s how the Claret-and-Cobalt lined up in the first period (L-R; formation was best as could be determined):
Adam Henley, Marcelo Silva, David Horst, Demar Philips
Kyle Beckerman, Corey Baird
David Diosa, Jose Hernandez, Ricky Lopez-Esplin
The first period yielded little in the terms of quality chances for either the first team or the Academy but it did feature U-18 phenomenon Sebastian Soto going up against RSL’s top backline as currently constituted. Horst and Silva kept a tight leash on Soto throughout the first 30 minutes of the match.
The second lineup fielded by Mike Petke lined up as follows:
Aaron Herrera, Taylor Peay, James Moberg, Maikel Chang
Charlie Adams, Nick Besler
Joao Plata, Albert Rusnak, Sebastian “Bofo” Saucedo
The aforementioned lineup fielded the top four attackers who are game-ready for RSL and they caused issues for the Academy defense. Albert Rusnak saw two chances saved in the period, the second of which became a free ball in the box which the referee judged an Academy player to have handled and awarded a penalty kick to RSL. Joao Plata buried the PK to put the first team up 1-0.
The Academy found their chances in the second period as well and leveled the match when winger Lyes Mezine buried his volley into the back of the net. Just before the period drew to a close, RSL found themselves up 2-1 thanks to a goal from Luis Silva on a header at the near post off a corner kick.
In the final frame, the squad was made up of mostly Monarchs players with first team representation form backup goalkeeper Connor Sparrow and defender Shawn Barry, who lined up at right back. The final period featured the least sharp portion of the scrimmage but did yield on goal on a nice build up for the first team which was capped off by a half-volley from Monarchs forward Juan Ignacio Mare. That ended up being the final tally with the Real Salt Lake/Real Monarchs split-squad defeating the RSL Academy U-19’s 3-1.
After the match, RSL captain Kyle Beckerman said it felt good to play in a full field match after the first parts of the preseason being spent playing smaller quarters. He said he liked the opportunity afforded with the ZBRA to get action for the first team, the Monarchs and the Academy in the same match. He said that with the next leg of the preseason set to begin on Wednesday, he wanted to see more “sharpness” from the club as they head to Arizona.
RSL will play two matches while they train in Tucson, AZ as part of the 2018 Mobile Mini Sun Cup. They will square off against the Los Angeles Galaxy on February 3 and the San Jose Earthquakes on Feb. 7. Both matches will be streamed on RSL.com (subject to change).