Real Salt Lake signed defender Justen Glad to a Homegrown contract on Monday, making the U.S. Under-18 international the seventh RSL-Arizona Academy product to graduate to the first team.
Glad trained with RSL for the entire 2014 preseason, showing well in camps in Casa Grande, Ariz., Irvine, Calif. and at the Desert Diamond Cup in his native Tucson. He picked up a nickname while with the full team, with his angular build, reddish-blonde hair and defensive skills earning him the moniker “Mini-Borchers.”
Borchers commented on Glad’s signing on Monday in his weekly appearance on ESPN 700’s The Bill & Hans Show – and yes, he did mention their physical similarities.
“I can’t wait for the obvious talk on Twitter about how similar we look, Justen Glad and myself,” Borchers said. “He’s just as white as I am, and he’s got a very similar haircut. He can’t grow a beard yet like I can, so we’ll have to wait a few years for that, but we’re really excited about this signing. We got to see Justen up close and personal down in preseason camp, and he’s got a very bright future. He’s a center back slash outside back, he’s only I think 17 years old now, he’s just very good on the ball, not afraid to take players on, really good 1-v-1, really good in the air and he’s just got so much potential.”
Borchers, who will turn 33 next week, said he plans on taking Glad under his wing, just like he has with other RSL players in the past.
“I’m definitely proactive about [helping young players,” he said. “I think that the sooner you impart your knowledge about your craft, the better it’s going to be for these young guys. I think a lot of them can learn from your example, and a lot of times you have to take them aside and talk to them about what you do. But it’s going to be great to see his growth and his learning curve, the same way it was with Luis Gil, with Chris Schuler, Tony Beltran and some of the other guys that came into the league as young guys. We really want to make sure we do our jobs as vets to lead them on the right path.”