HERRIMAN, Utah (November 8, 2023) - Five RSL Academy players have signed their National Letters of Intent, all with NCAA Division 1 programs. Three of the five players will be joining programs that qualified for the NCAA College Cup Tournament, including current Champions Syracuse, as well as Oregon State, and Saint Louis University.
Blake Kelly headlines this year’s signing class with nine professional appearances in 2023 for Real Monarchs, second behind starter Fernando Delgado. The young goalkeeper recorded 25 saves in MLS NEXT Pro competition. His accomplishments led to an invitation to preseason from Brondby IF of the Blitzer ecosystem which competes in the Danish First Division. Kelly will suit up for a University of Notre Dame program looking to qualify for the College Cup after missing out the previous year.
Abokye Bikyeombe has also logged significant minutes at the professional level with Real Monarchs. In 2022, Bikyeombe played in 16 matches, starting eight of them, while also recording a goal and an assist. He also played in two matches during the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season. The holding midfielder joins Syracuse University where RSL Superdraft Pick, Amferny Sinclair, won the 2022 NCAA College Cup.
Gershon Henry scored his first professional goal in 2023 for the Monarchs, while also appearing in eight matches, starting three of them. The left-footed defender earned his first call-up to the Finland Youth National team where he played alongside fellow RSL Academy player, Gabriel Oksanen. Henry will be joining Saint Louis University, who got knocked out of the College Cup in the second round by 13th ranked Indiana who went on to lose in the final against Syracuse.
Preston Tyee Allen logged 105 minutes with Real Monarchs this past season, making his professional debut on April 2nd away at Tacoma Defiance. After moving from Las Vegas to Herriman, Allen played for the U-17 squad under former Head Coach Cody Worden. The speedy winger joins Liberty University who recorded a 3-6-6 record in 2022.
Brayden Morrell also made his professional debut for the Monarchs in 2023, starting against Tacoma on April 2nd. The tall center-back saw the majority of his minutes with the U-17 squad since moving to Utah Morrell will bolster the backline of Oregon State University as they look to make another run in the College Cup.
College counselor Lauren Genna works with the players every day, helping them through their academic journey to the next level. “This is a big deal for us as an academy. This is the first time we’ve had five kids signing, and this is the first time that every single senior has a pathway. This is the first time that we’ve been able to do that for them. It’s just really good connecting them to what their futures are gonna be and helping them find their pathway, whatever it might be.”
If their accomplishments in RSL Academy are any indication of what the future holds, these young men will achieve great things in the coming years.