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BREAKING NEWS: RSL-AZ adds U15 to the Developing Academy Teams

By RSL-AZ , 03/10/20, 2:30PM MST



PHOENIX (Monday, March 2, 2020)Real Salt Lake Arizona is proud to announce the  expansion of the number of US Soccer Development Academy teams beginning in the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 season, with the addition of the Under 15 (U15) age group that will join the existing Under 14 (U14) and Under 13 (U13) teams.

RSL-AZ is one of 97 clubs in the U15 age group and the only one receiving this promotion in Arizona and the South West. The three U15 promotions in the US are RSL AZ, Nashville SC and Austin FC.  US Soccer awards admission and promotions based on the club organization leadership and quality of coaching staff, desire to embrace DA philosophy and core values, infrastructure and investment of resources, player production history, player pool depth and geographic location.

“We are excited to see the club gain promotion from US Soccer into the Under 15 age groups, and honored to see our club recognized as the leader in player development in Arizona. Thank you to all the professional staff in Utah and Arizona for their work and contribution in building our club. This is once again a testament to the outstanding work of our coaches, players, administrators and families, and their commitment to the development of our players to the highest level of soccer for boys and girls. There are so many great clubs in Arizona and in the Development Academy—it’s a great honor to be one of 3 in the nation to progress to the U15 and to offer this program free of charge to our boys” said Executive Director Brent Erwin.

“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Phoenix Rising FC on their acceptance into the Development Academy program--we look forward to continue to work with Phoenix Rising FC and SC Del Sol to drive the game forward in Arizona.” added Brent. "In RSL-AZ we really value the emphasis on player development and are dedicated to raising our club environment.  We have taken many of the Academy requirements and implemented them into the entire club, and we are certain that this expansion will impact all of our players in a positive way. Our club’s philosophy is the development and teaching for each individual player so that every child in our club, not only those on Development Academy teams, will benefit from this prestigious designation.” 

RSL-AZ is the only Club in Arizona with a direct path to a MLS Development Academy and, as stated by the MLS Homegrown Rule, Real Salt Lake holds the rights of all Arizona players that wish to follow the professional MLS development path. 

Players joining the RSL-AZ Development Academy have also additional advantages, including the right to participate in MLS exclusive events such as: 

  • Generation Adidas Cup--a competition run by Major League Soccer for MLS & MLS Affiliates academies teams only.
  • Patterson Cup--organized by Sporting Kansas City and featuring U-12, U-13 and U-14 academy teams from Major League Soccer.
  • MLS Development Academy players are heavily relied upon to fill the rosters for the US Youth National Teams.

With the addition of the U-15 group, RSL-AZ will field three full-time teams playing in the Boys DA alongside the club’s Boys Elite Club National League Program, which offer our players high level competition, training and identification opportunities.

“We had a great first year in the Under 13 and 14 Academy teams. We are excited to have four of our boys participating in the most recent USYNT West Regional Camp and as well as eight invited to an upcoming USYNT Arizona ID Camp.  Many of our top RSL-AZ players will also train multiple times a year with our RSL Academy teams in Herriman, UT. We’re very proud to be able to provide these opportunities for our young men and we work together “as one” to ensure that each players is on the right path to development, whether in Utah or Arizona”. Said Mike Kraus, Boys Academy Director.

From our Recreational program to our top DA and ENCL competitive programs, Real Salt Lake AZ remains the only club in the region that offers a complete pathway to professional soccer to both boys and girls: the boys can develop all the way up to the professional levels of MLS (Real Salt Lake) and the girls to the professional levels of NWLS (Utah Royals).



The US Soccer Development Academy, composed of top level clubs across the United States, was created by U.S. Soccer in 2007 as a platform for elite player development in the United States. The Development Academy focuses on positively impacting everyday club environments to maximize youth player development across the country. The Academy values individual development of elite players over winning trophies and titles. The Development Academy sets the standard for elite environments for youth soccer clubs nationwide and is a part of U.S. Soccer's global leadership position in youth soccer that will impact thousands of players.