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RSL’s Saucedo, Lennon pace U.S. out of group play at CONCACAF U-20 Championship

First Published      Last Updated Feb 24 2017 05:33 pm

Paced by its thorough Real Salt Lake presence on the roster, the U.S. U-20 national team advanced out of group play at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship Friday with its 4-1 stomping of St. Kitts & Nevis. The U.S. (2-1-0) move on to face Mexico in the classification stage Monday afternoon in Costa Rica.

RSL midfielder/forward Sebastian Saucedo had two goals in the first half, while Brooks Lennon notched his fourth in the last two games in the U.S. rout. All five RSL academy products started the group stage finale, but University of New Mexico defender Aaron Herrera was forced off in the first half due to a foot injury. Center back Justen Glad and left back Danilo Acosta each started their third-straight matches on the U.S. back line.

Lennon picked up where he left off after Tuesday's hat trick against Haiti. The 19-year-old ran onto a cross from Jeremy Ebobisse in the 17th minute to give the U-20s a 1-0 lead. Three minutes later, New York City FC's Jonathan Lewis tapped in a loose ball to double the advantage off an assist from Glad.

Saucedo, who grew up in Park City, drove a low shot from 25-yards out beyond the goalkeeper who was well off his line. The goal came the U.S. a 3-0 cushion in the 35th minute. The RSL attacker soon one-upped himself in the 41st minute, curling free kick from distance outside the wall and tucking it into the near post.

» RSL closes out preseason with a win

The final match of RSL's five-week-long preseason ensured the flight home to Salt Lake City would be a happy one. RSL beat Armenian club Alashkert FC 2-1 in a non-televised scrimmage Friday afternoon on the campus of UC-Irvine in Southern California.

Alashkert took an early 1-0 lead in the eighth minute, but Armenian star and RSL forward Yura Movsisyan pulled his team level in the 43rd minute. According to the RSL Twitter account, Movsisyan buried a rebound shot after midfielder Luke Mulholland forced a save from just outside the box.

Back-up striker Chad Barrett ensured the victory. The forward scored the game-winner in the 92nd minute to give RSL a 2-1 win over Alashkert FC. RSL finishes the 2017 preseason 2-1-5 ahead of hosting Toronto FC in the season-opener on Saturday, March 4, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy.

RSL captain Kyle Beckerman, still dealing with a bone bruise in his left knee, did not play. The 34-year-old remains in question for the opener next Saturday having not played in any of RSL's preseason matches in February.

-Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @chriskamrani



 

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