The Real Salt Lake Academy U-15 squad fell 2-1 to Inter Miami in the MLS NEXT Cup final, finishing as runner-ups in the tournament just shy of its second consecutive championship. Additionally, forward Zavier Gozo won the 2022 Golden Boot and goalkeeper Will Mackay earned 2022 Goalkeeper of the Year.
The RSL Academy started the match on the front foot, nearly scoring in the seventh minute when midfielder Luca Moisa found forward Zavier Gozo on a through ball over the top of the Inter Miami defense. Gozo won the ball and flicked it to himself over the goalkeeper then fired a shot across the face of the goal just wide.
However, Inter Miami responded quickly, scoring in the 14th minute. The Florida side sent a cross into the center of the box where Victor Fung squeezed a header between the right post and goalkeeper Will Mackay to open the scoring. Despite RSL controlling much of the possession, Inter Miami doubled its lead in the 26th minute when midfielder Santiago Morales curled a shot from the top of the box over Mackay and into the top-left corner for the 2-0 lead.
The RSL U-15s found their way back into the match, finding the back of the net in the 36th minute when Moisa drew a hard foul inside the box, setting up a penalty kick for Gozo. Gozo buried the shot into the bottom-left corner to bring the Claret-and-Cobalt within one just before the halftime break.
To begin the second 40 minutes of play, the two-sides split possession trading opportunities on net. In the 65th minute, Mackay made a diving save while being 1-on-1 with an Inter Miami attacker to keep the RSL in the match. Despite a late-game push by the U-15 squad, they were unable to find the equalizer, falling to Inter Miami 2-1.