Real Salt Lake's under-18 academy side will play a match at Rio Tinto Stadium against Real Monarchs on Wednesday — and it'll be a chance to see one of the best youth teams in the nation plying their trade ahead of the USSDA playoffs.
We think you should head down to Rio Tinto (around 4 p.m. Wednesday) to check it out.
1. It's a chance to see the best youth team in the nation
It's easy to claim that your youth team is the best in the nation, but it's a little harder to prove it. But let's look at some keys about the team.
First on deck: They've earned 100 points over 39 games. That's an average of 2.6 points per game. They've scored 161 goals, for an average of 4.12 goals per game. That's not just good — that's amazing.
2. It's the best opportunity so far to see an RSL youth team
Outside of going to Casa Grande, Ariz., or hopping away for a youth tournament somewhere in the U.S., getting a good look at the academy has been difficult outside of a few streamed matches here and there.
This will provide the first great opportunity to see the academy first-hand, and while a big chunk of these kids are going to graduate, the odds that at least some of them won't be professionals at some point is somewhat low.
3. See some stars of the future
We can talk a lot about how these players could be stars, but seeing them is the best chance to gauge their progress. Players like Brooks Lennon, who have been scouted heavily by Liverpool, might excite us — and rightly so — but there are some really exciting young players in the setup without an English team watching their every movement. We'll talk more about some of those players, but just know that they're really, really good.
Not to mention: It's free at Rio Tinto Stadium. That's hopefully something that convinces people to come take a peek at the youth setup.