Real Monarchs and Real Salt Lake Academy defender Nicholas "Nick" Nobles has been named the MLS NEXT Pro’s MLS NEXT Rising Star of the Matchday for his performance in the team’s 1-0 victory over San Jose Earthquakes II.
Nobles played a critical role in securing the clean sheet and the win for the Real Monarchs, the first of both for the Club this season. In the 70th minute Nobles made a massive goal line clearance after goalkeeper Fernando Delgado came off his line in the 70th, preventing what appeared to be a sure goal for the Earthquakes.
The defender’s appearance against San Jose came as a bit of a surprise for both the 15-year-old and the team, as it was originally Panamanian defender Omar Alba slated to start for the Monarchs. Nobles, along with the rest of the RSL Academy, was in Bradenton, Florida for the Generation adidas Cup when he got the call that Alba had been injured in Friday’s training session. Within 24-hours Nobles was on a plane, heading to San Jose where he met up with the team and was slotted into the starting lineup, alongside RSL Homegrown Delentz Pierre, a defender he has never trained or played with.
Nobles’ performance against San Jose marked only his second-ever professional appearance, having only previously played in the team’s season opener against Minnesota United 2. And at just 15 years, 9 months and 28 days old Nobles has been one of the youngest to play for the Monarchs this season, with only fellow defender and RSL Homegrown Luis Rivera being younger.
Real Monarchs are scheduled to return home to Zions Bank Stadium to host Sporting Kansas City 2 on Friday, April 14 at 8:30 p.m. MT.