SALT LAKE CITY (Tuesday, July 29, 2008) ?C The Real Salt Lake Youth Development Program picked up its second piece of hardware this month thanks to the RSL-Arizona Under-17 Team, which defeated Houstonians FC (TX) 2-1 thi s morning to claim the Boys U-17 Super Group title at the US Club Soccer National Cup VII in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Marco Carrillo’s conversion of a Jann Nash corner kick in the 60th minute would stand as the tournament-winner, allowing the second-year RSL-Arizona outfit to lift the Doug Hamilton Memorial Cup as the tournament’s U-17 champions.
RSL-Arizona, which qualified for National Cup VII via its Region F tournament win in California last month, began its title quest in Virginia Beach with a pair of 1-0 victories in group play over Shattuck St. Mary’s (MN) and Crossfire SC Premier (WA) on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Those wins allowed RSL-Arizona a chance to advance to the final with a win or tie in its final pool play contest against Howell SC Strykers (NJ) on Monday, and a 1-1 draw would put the team atop its group on seven points and thrust the squad into the championship game against Houstonians FC. RSL-Arizona used a goal from Minh Vu just two minutes into this morning’s final to take a 1-0 lead, but the Texans would equalize in the 15th minute to even the score at 1-1. Carillo would come to the rescue with his heroics at the hour mark, and RSL-Arizona would hold on from there to give the Phoenix-based squad a national championship.
"For RSL-Arizona to win the cup memorializing the best MLS general manager ever, Doug Hamilton, is truly a great honor," said Real Salt Lake GM Garth Lagerwey. "Full marks to our kids for their perseverance and tenacity in winning this championship and conveying further glory on themselves and RSL on the heels of our SUM Cup victory. There are certainly some players in our youth system we may see playing in MLS in the next couple of years."
This morning’s win for RSL-Arizona comes just weeks after three members of the team also helped a combined Real Salt Lake Under-17 squad (using players from the RSL-Utah, RSL-Arizona, and RSL-Florida programs) capture the SUM Cup title over 13 fellow MLS youth development programs. The US Club Soccer ch ampionship marks the second national tournament appearance for an RSL-Arizona team in as many years, as the RSL-AZ Under-16 Boys squad finished third in the 2007 Super Y-League National Championships after winning the Rocky Mountain Division regular season title last summer.
RSL-Arizona Under-17 US Club Soccer National Cup VII Champion Roster
Colin Anderson, Marco Carrillo, Michael D’Arrigo, Luis de la Rosa, Kodiac Gamble, Gilberto Gomez, Ju stin Incarnati, Nick Marshall, Anthony Mohammed, Jann Nash, Jon Pearman, Phillip Porter, Adrian Saldana, Eduardo Sanchez, Minh Vu
Head Coach: Harry Demos
Assistant Coaches: Keir Cochran, Jon Pearlman