TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The battle is on for the best soccer players in Southern Arizona.
The 29th Tucson Association of REALTORS Soccer Shootout is shining a light on host Fort Lowell Soccer Club’s new relationship with Major League Soccer franchise Real Salt Lake.
In fact, the east side futbol club is no longer known as Fort Lowell but is now called RSL-AZ Southern Arizona Soccer Club.
The partnership was born in May 2018 when Fort Lowell opted to leave their national agreement with Rush Soccer.
RSL is no stranger to the Territory. They opened their first youth academy in Case Grande in 2010.
And although that academy was relocated back to Utah this past year, the franchise still holds strong ties to youth organizations throughout the state.
RSL-AZ Southern Arizona joins FC Tucson Youth Academy as the two largest training organization for kids in the Tucson area.
What RSL has that FC Tucson doesn’t is quite clear, a pathway for players to reach the highest levels of the game on both the men’s (MLS-Real Salt Lake) and women’s sides (NWSL-Utah Royals FC).
One such player who has gone down that RSL pathway is former Catalina Foothills High School star Justen Glad.
Glad joined the RSL-AZ Academy in 2012 after leading the Falcons to the state semifinals as freshman. He later signed a homegrown contract with Real Salt Lake in 2014.
2019 will be his fifth season playing Major League Soccer. The defender started 33 of the side’s 34 matches last season.
Real Salt Lake has indicated future plans to open a satellite training facility in Southern Arizona.