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Former RSL Academy Duo Shines In Debut For USMNT During International Friendly

Sebastian Soto in 2018 as a member of the RSL Academy. Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Richard Ledezma assisted Sebastian Soto twice as the former Real Salt Lake Academy duo excelled during the USA’s 6-2 victory over Panama in what was an international friendly.

Both players began on the bench for a second consecutive game, however, unlike the last match against Wales, both Ledezma and Soto heard their number called for the first time in their careers on the international level.

Previously, both players had only played for the US U-23 team. Never had they played for the first team.

Two Crosses, Two Goals

Ledezma was the first player to see the pitch as he entered the fixture in the 68th minute for Giovanni Reyna. Soto joined his Academy teammate some nine minutes later in the 77th minute when he came on for Nicholas Gioacchini.

It did not take long for the two to regain the chemistry that they created at the RSL Academy. So much so that in the 13 minutes that Soto played, he scored two goals. Both of the goals Soto scored came off his head, however, the delivery onto Soto’s head came from the right boot of Ledezma.

Christian Pulisic in 2016 was the last player to come off the bench for the USMNT and score a brace.

Ledezma and Soto now both play in Europe for PSV Eindhoven and SC Telstar respectively, however, they both also attended the RSL Academy prior to taking their talents to Europe.