The FC Dallas under-16 academy headed into the final game of the USSDA playoffs needing a draw against RSL-AZ to advance to Finals Week. In a wild, back-and-forth battle, FC Dallas fell to their MLS rivals 6-3, ending the FC Dallas run in this year's playoffs.
In an indication of what was to come throughout the match, the goalfest started with RSL jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead. A pair of uncharacteristic defensive mistakes from FC Dallas resulted in Sebastian Saucedo sneaking in for two huge goals to open the match.
Real Salt Lake grabbed a third goal through a long-range shot in the 36th minute to stunningly take a 3-0 lead. Needing a spark before halftime, FC Dallas got it on a well worked corner that eventually found its way into the net through a scrum of players to send the teams to halftime with RSL up 3-1.
In the second half, RSL seemed to put the game out of reach finishing a rebound off a fantastic save from goalkeeper Estevan Vasquez to restore their three-goal lead.
The fightback from FCD began, however, with Patrick Khouri bundling in another set piece opportunity from FC Dallas with 20 minutes to play. Soon after Santi Agudelo headed in his fifth goal of playoffs week to pull FCD within a goal sparking wild celebrations.
As FC Dallas pushed for the goal that would take them through the group, Real Salt Lake hit the U-16s on the counter restoring their two-goal advantage. They would soon grab another as Sebastian Gordillo took down an RSL attacker in the box and as the last man back, Gordillo was shown a red card. The penalty kick was converted and FC Dallas fell to RSL 6-3 ending the season for both academy teams.
Despite falling at the final hurdle before Finals Week, both the U-18 & U-16 teams can hold their heads high as they finished at the top of the Frontier Division. They'll return to action for the 2013-2014 season with a new U-14 division in late September.