TAMPA – RSL Florida’s boys under-15 team didn’t perform as sharply as in its opening two games, but a late second half goal by Taylor Cook proved enough to send them into the semifinals of the United Soccer League’s Super-Y North American Finals with a 1-0 victory against the Alliance Academy on Sunday afternoon.
After a scrappy game, RSL appeared to move into a higher gear late in the second half. That pressure culminated when Jarrett Link picked the ball up in midfield and pushed forward. Link had the ball knocked away from him just outside the penalty area, but the ball came to Enrique Barboto, who slid an angled pass to his left to Cook, who shot low into the right corner of the net.
RSL goalkeeper Cody Parker made a pair of good saves to preserve the lead as RSL completed group play with three wins from three games.
“We didn’t play well at all, but when you’re in a tournament, you get the result, and we move on, and that’s the main thing, we move on to tomorrow,” RSL coach Steve Wolf said. “Hopefully we’ll have a better performance tomorrow.”
RSL will play the Westchester Flames in the semifinals, kicking off at 3 p.m. at the Ed Radice Sports Complex. Wolf believes if his side can regain the offensive rhythm it had in its first two games which allowed it to control possession and the pace of the game, it should result in a stronger performance.
“I think the main thing tomorrow is to try and find the rhythm that we had in the two previous games,” Wolf said. “Try to develop a rhythm. Today, there was really no rhythm. We had a bit of a rhythm through the midfield, but we gave away the ball too cheaply, our central midfielders did, and we didn’t do that the first two games.”