HERRIMAN, Utah (Thursday, May 16, 2024) – The U-17 and U-15 Real Salt Lake Academy teams each won their groups at the recent MLS NEXT Flex tourney to earn advancement to the upcoming MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs, to be played in Nashville, Tenn., from June 15-23.

Both RSL Academy age groups went undefeated, finishing the competition with a combined record of 4-0-2 (W-L-T) with 15 points earned in six matches. The dominant showing from the Herriman-based teams exhibits a strong progression from RSL’s undefeated group-stage performance at the 2024 Generation Adidas Cup just last month. Real Salt Lake finished the tournament as one of only four MLS academies – alongside LA Galaxy, Orlando City SC and Philadelphia Union – to go undefeated across both age groups.

Competing at Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Maryland, the U-17 squad took care of business in dominant fashion, winning all three matches in group play against Austin FC, Wake FC and SC Del Sol. The team scored 11 goals while conceding just three to finish tied with New York Red Bulls and Montreal CF for the best goal differential in the entire U-17 competition.

5/11/24 RSL vs. Wake FC: 5-1 W

5/12/24 RSL vs. SC Del Sol: 3-0 W

5/13/24 RSL vs. Austin FC: 3-2 W

U-17 Final Group Standings:

Also competing at Maryland Soccerplex, the U-15 team narrowly won its group with a thrilling final-day 5-0 victory over New York Red Bulls. After opening the group with draws against Athletum FC Academy and Phoenix Rising FC, claiming a second point in both encounters through the MLS NEXT penalty shootout rules, Head Coach Jordan Allen’s RSL squad entered the final matchday two points behind previously-flawless NYRB for control of its destiny. In a do-or-die scenario, the U-15 Real Salt Lake team put up its best performance of 2024 with a 5-0 trouncing of New York to punch their ticket to MLS NEXT Cup.

5/11/24 RSL vs. Athletum FC: T, 3-3, 5-3

5/12/24 RSL vs. Phoenix Rising FC: T, 2-2, 4-2

5/13/24 RSL vs. New York Red Bulls: W, 5-0

U-15 Final Group Standings

MLS NEXT Cup is an annual tournament in which the best youth teams in the United States and Canada compete to be crowned MLS NEXT Cup Champions for the 2023-24 season. Thirty-two of the top teams in each of the four different age groups (U-15, U-16, U-17, U-19) will square off at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex in Nashville, Tennessee to battle it out for each age group’s respective title. Teams qualify for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs based on results from league play or by winning their respective group at MLS NEXT Flex. MLS NEXT Cup Playoff matches will last 80 minutes in the U-15 age group and 90 minutes in the other three age groups. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, all playoff matches will head to kicks from the penalty spot, except for the four championship matches, which will feature two five-minute periods of extra time.

Fans can stream MLS NEXT Cup matches on Apple TV through an MLS Season Pass subscription. To learn more about the RSL Academy and keep up-to-date with Utah’s most exciting youngsters, click here.


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