Real Monarchs

Real Monarchs Name Mark Lowry Head Coach

HERRIMAN, UTAH (Monday, January 22, 2024) – Real Salt Lake Assistant General Manager Tony Beltran today announced the appointment of Mark Lowry as Real Monarchs Head Coach for the 2024 MLS NEXT Pro season and beyond. Lowry – arriving in Utah for his fourth managerial stop and his first with an MLS NEXT Pro side – replaces Jamison Olave, the former RSL player and long-time Monarchs boss who was added to Pablo Mastroeni’s first-team staff last week.

Lowry becomes the fifth head coach in Monarchs’ history, following previous bosses Freddy Juarez, Mark Briggs, Martin Vasquez and Olave. This year the Monarchs celebrate its 10th season this 2024 season, the former Division II and current Division III side winning the USL Championship reg. season title in 2017 and the USL Championship Final in 2019.

"As a coach, I'm a big believer in entertaining," said Lowry, long regarded as one of the brightest minds in American soccer, described as uniquely demanding, uniquely fun-to-watch and a pure auteur. "The fans play money to watch the game they love; they deserved to be entertained.

"We will attack, we will entertain, we will win, we will develop young men not just as players but as people. We will contend for hardware from Day 1. We will put a winning product on the field – like the Academy has done in the past and very much like Pablo has done with the first team. Our culture will be one of commitment and togetherness, led by a team-first mentality that aligns with the values of our community. Herriman City has this team to call its own and we expect to give them a group to be proud of, one that will inspire the entire Club with our commitment to each other."

Lowry, 38, joins Real Monarchs from Indy Eleven, where the Solihull, England native managed 72 matches with a 26W-31L-15T record. Lowry has managed 212 matches during his U.S.-based coaching career dating back to 2016 with Jacksonville Armada FC (NASL, 2016-18), El Paso Locomotive FC (USL Championship, 2018-21) and Indy Eleven (USL Championship, 2021-23) amassing a cumulative record of 86W-66L-60T. Lowry is lauded for his communication style, his tactical acumen and man-management as well as his on-field accomplishments, leading Jacksonville to the NASL Spring Championship in the 2016-17 campaign and El Paso Locomotive FC to a USL Championship Final in the 2021 season, a year where current RSL playmaker Diego Luna starred.

“We are elated to welcome Mark to our Club,” said Beltran, a former RSL player who joined the Club’s front office in early 2020 following a 12-year, 245-game playing career in Utah. “This very hectic offseason of change has allowed us the opportunity to identify top practitioners and people to potentially join us Club-wide, and Mark’s candidacy was no exception. We believe that Mark and his staff – who live at the fulcrum of both our first-team principles and our Academy initiatives – will enable our Club to establish new standards and further embody our collective ethos of winning together through development.”

Lowry will reunite in the same club umbrella with former player and now Real Salt Lake star Diego Luna. The two spent 32 matches together in 2020 and 2021 where Luna found the back of the net 9 times and assisted 5 others while taking the league title.

“I have visited Utah numerous times over the years in my battles against the Monarchs, so I know this is a community that is family-oriented and a great place to raise my family,” continued Lowry, when asked why this opportunity was appealing. “RSL shares these values, and with two young children and an amazing wife, those things matter. We have the pleasure of working in a wonderful facility with good people who strive to operate at the highest level each and every day. I could not ask for a better place both personally and professionally.”

During his debut campaign in Indy, the 2022 USL-C season, Lowry led Indy Eleven to their best year since 2019 with a record of 12-17-5. The Eleven returned to the playoffs in 2023 for the first time since the 2019 season, as a sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, after finishing the regular-season campaign with a 13-11-10 record.

Lowry landed in the Indianapolis after a three-season stint with El Paso Locomotive FC, which he guided to a 42W-19L-29D record in USL Championship regular season, USL Championship Playoffs, and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup action from 2019-21. The now 38-year-old native of Birmingham, England, improved Locomotive FC’s record across each of their first three seasons of play, the first two of which culminated in back-to-back appearances in the Western Conference Final. Lowry’s 40 regular season victories over those three years rank as the fourth-most amongst USL Championship coaches across that span.

During El Paso’s 2021 campaign, Lowry led Locomotive FC to an impressive 18W-4L-10D (64 points) ledger that easily clinched the Championship’s Mountain Division title and marked the third-highest point total across the 31-team league. Lowry earned the July 2021 USL Championship Coach of the Month honor, which coincided with the club’s 23-game home undefeated run that stretched over a calendar year and was, at one point, the longest such streak in North American professional soccer.

Prior to El Paso, Lowry began his head coaching career as the interim boss of the then-NASL Jacksonville Armada side in August 2016, before a positive run of results helped him shed the interim tag by that October. Following the 2017 NASL season, Lowry stayed on to lead Armada FC during their 2018 season in the NPSL’s Sunshine Conference before moving to USL Championship circles as the first head coach of El Paso Locomotive FC, the architect of their inaugural 2019 campaign.

Lowry also spent four seasons in the Orlando City SC organization, spending time with both their Academy system and U-23 entry in the then-USL PDL (now USL League 2). Prior to Orlando, Lowry gained extensive experience as a player, academy coach, and scout in the English professional system. Lowry was a player scout and academy coach for English Premier League (EPL) side Wolverhampton Wanderers FC in 2009 and a player scout for Birmingham City FC in 2007 and 2008, also then in the EPL. He currently holds both his U.S. Soccer “A” license as well as the UEFA “A” coaching license.

TRANSACTION: Real Monarchs SLC hire Mark Lowry as head coach on January 22, 2024.

Manager Information

Name: Mark Lowry

Date of Birth: August 11, 1985

Age: 38

Birthplace: Solihull, England

Citizenship: England

Real Monarchs SLC concluded last season at 8W-15L-5T (29 points) in its second season at the MLS NEXT Pro level under the leadership of Head Coach Jamison Olave. The Monarchs look to build on their late 2023 success in 2024, empowered by the league’s youngest roster (by average age) in the entire league. Tickets for Real Monarchs can be purchased via gameday walk-up at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman.


(2024 additions in italics; *guest/unsigned players in Bold)

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate Age Hometown College Status INTL

51 Omar Alba DEF 6-0 26 March 2004 19 Panama City, Panama Int’l PAN

88 Izahi “Izzy” Amparo MID 5-6 23 Nov 2006 17 Yuma, AZ Academy

47 Damien Barker John MID 5-8 150 7 Dec 2004 19 Queens, NY Louisville

92 Noel Caliskan MID 5-11 29 Aug 2000 23 Cologne, Germany Loyola Marymount Int’l

57 Fernando Delgado GK 6-1 174 25 July 2006 17 Phoenix, AZ Academy MEX

81 Griffin Dillon MID 5-11 25 April 2003 20 Draper, UT Maryland Academy

50 Lionel Djiro MID 5-8 4 April 2004 19 Gnagbodougnoa, Ivory Coast

41 Daron Iskandarian FW 5-11 19 March 2002 21 Los Angeles, CA ARM


40 Omar Marquez MID 5-6 21 Feb 2008 15 Sacramento, CA Academy

52 Sean Petrie MID 5-8 21 May 2007 16 Los Angeles, CA

98 Marzuq Puckerin GK 6-2 190 16 Oct 2002 21 Cambridge, MA

42 Keller Storlie DEF 6-2 185 8 Jan 2002 22 Portland, OR

77 Braxton Taghvai-Najib MID 23 Dec 2002 21 Draper, UT

53 Juan Gio Villa DEF 5-5 3 Jan 2008 16 Chicago, IL Academy MEX


(2024 additions in italics; *guest/unsigned players in Bold)

No. Player Pos. Pronunciation Place of Birth Last Club

40 Omar Marquez MID Sacramento, CA RSL Academy

41 Daron Iskandarian FW Los Angeles, CA Las Vegas Lights (USL)

42 Keller Storlie DEF Portland, OR AD Aserrí (CRC)

47 Damien Barker John MID Queens, NY Univ. of Louisville (NCAA)

50 Lionel Djiro MID duh-JEE-roh Gnagbodougnoa, Ivory Coast Elite Falcon FC (UAE)

51 Omar Alba DEF Panama City, Panama CD Plaza Amador (PAN)

52 Sean Petrie MID pee-TREE Los Angeles, CA FC Barcelona Residency (AZ)

53 Juan Gio Villa DEF Chicago, IL RSL Academy

77 Braxton Taghvai-Najib MID TOGG-vai NAH-jeeb Draper, UT Inter Miami CF II (MLSNP)

57 Fernando Delgado GK Phoenix, AZ RSL Academy

81 Griffin Dillon MID San Diego, CA Univ. of Maryland (NCAA)

88 Izahi “Izzy” Amparo MID Yuma, AZ RSL Academy

92 Noel Caliskan MID Cologne, Germany Portland Timbers (MLS)

98 Marzuq Puckerin GK marr-ZOOK Cambridge, MA North Carolina FC (USL)

-- Sebastian Joffre* FW jahf-RAY Portachuelo, Bolivia RWD Molenbeek (BEL)


Head Coach: Mark Lowry (Solihull, England) 

Assistant Coach: Andrew May (Costa Mesa, CA) 

Goalkeeper Coach:


Video Analyst: Joe Hickman (Ogden, UT) 

Team Administration: Jesus Gonzalez (Rio Rico, AZ) 

Athletic Training: Armando Frutos (Manti, UT), Andrea Camacho (San Diego, CA)

Equipment: Peyton Compagno (Tucson, AZ)


During the first week of January 2022, the RSL compendium of properties was acquired by global sports entrepreneur David Blitzer – who boasts interests in the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the New Jersey Devils (NHL), the Cleveland Guardians (baseball) and the Washington Commanders (NFL) – as well as several European soccer entities, including Crystal Palace (England), FC Augsburg (Germany), Estoril (Portugal), ADO Den Haag (Netherlands), Alcorcón (Spain), SK Beveren (Belgium) and Brøndby IF (Denmark). The Blitzer group partners with Utah-based Smith Entertainment Group (SEG), which owns the Utah Jazz (NBA), led by Ryan Smith and including Dwyane Wade, among others.

Real Salt Lake completed its 19th Major League Soccer season this past November, its second full season under Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni, who led the Utah side on an interim basis for the final 100 days in 2021. RSL is the lone Western Conference side to have advanced to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in each of 2021, 2022 and 2023, amassing 13 postseason appearances in the last 16 years, as well as five occasions in the last six seasons.

RSL's MLS Cup 2009 victory marked the state of Utah's only major professional championship in nearly 40 years, the title preceding an historic run to the 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League Final. Buoyed by a passionate base boasting several thousand season ticket holders and opening its permanent home in Sandy just over 15 years ago, since October, 2008, RSL’s 164-58-75 (W-L-T) mark at America First Field – home of the “RioT” Supporters Group umbrella – equates to a 1.91 points per game average and a 0.679 win pct, one of the truly amazing value proposition in North American sporting landscape today.

For the 2024 season and beyond, Real Salt Lake’s Blitzer / Smith ownership groups have partnered to bring the National Women’s Soccer League back to Utah, as Utah Royals FC return in the Spring. Led by Head Coach Amy Rodriguez, President Michelle Hyncik and Sporting Director Kelly Cousins, URFC aims to seize upon the success the NWSL enjoyed during its first iteration on the Wasatch Front from 2018-20 and grow the game to even greater heights going forward. Led by visionary sports business entrepreneur Jess Gelman – the founder of the Sloan Sports Analytics Institute, along with innovative NBA executive Daryl Morey – Utah Royals FC blazes new trails in 2024.

In 2015, the club expanded its development pyramid with the addition of Real Monarchs SLC, one of several MLS-operated clubs playing in the USL Championship, the United States' Division II setup. The Monarchs boast a pair of titles in its brief history, as the 2017 USL Championship Regular-Season champions, later winning the USL Championship title in 2019. For the 2022 season and beyond, Real Monarchs compete in the newly-launched “MLS NEXT Pro” as part of a joint United States and Canada endeavor to complete the professional player pathway by connecting youth academies in MLS NEXT to first teams in Major League Soccer. The 2024 campaign will see the Monarchs represent the Club in the historic Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a tourney open to teams from all levels of the U.S. Soccer pyramid, the first trophy hoisted back in 1914.

The entire competitive RSL setup, which includes nearly 70 players representing the RSL Academy’s U-15 and U-17 teams, calls the expansive Zions Bank Training Center in Herriman, Utah their daily training home. With five world-class grass fields, two indoor turf fields, a residential dormitory, the STEM-based RSL Academy High School and the 5,000-seat Zions Bank Stadium located on a 42-acre campus, Utah’s sporting future is bright.

The RSL Community Foundation was established in 2016, created with the goals of being active in the community year-round, utilizing the popularity and reach of RSL, the Royals, the Monarchs and the Academy in promoting health and wellness in children throughout the region, engaging supporters of soccer to raise funds and volunteer time for various local initiatives.