When the doors to the Zions Bank Training Center opened in February 2018, it solidified Real Salt Lake’s intent to provide the RSL Academy with all of the tools necessary to promote players through the ranks of the club to the first team and beyond.
Already a leader in player development, the club’s roster makeup and contribution has been significantly impacted by those from the RSL Academy since 2014. In 2018 and 2019, the RSL Academy fleet of products contributed an MLS-leading 23,100 minutes played ahead of the abbreviated 2020 season.
With the addition of 16-year-old goalkeeper Jeff Dewsnup as the club’s youngest-ever signing direct from the RSL Academy, the club has not only strengthened its long-term growth plan but has proven that its individual training plan extends from the beginning stages of the RSL Academy through the first team.
The club’s state-of-the art facility, world-class coaching staff and the STEM-based high school have seen many players come through its ranks to sign professional contracts or move into the collegiate game. In total, the RSL Academy has seen 24 players sign professional contracts with, with many other players signing with other clubs or pursuing a college career. RSL’s current roster holds 11 Homegrown players – defined as players who have played for the RSL Academy for at least one year prior to signing professionally for the club or attending a four-year college.
Andrew Brody, Bode Davis, Dewsnup, Chris Garcia, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Milan Iloski, David Ochoa, Tate Schmitt and Donny Toia are all Homegrown players that are eligible to feature for the club as the 2021 season draws nearer.
The Herriman facility houses, trains and educates 60 players across three age-specific teams – under 15, under 17 and under 19 – with each age group working in lockstep with one another to understand a specific style of play, comradery and the full fabric of RSL. Specialized individual training plans coupled with the team development and competition programs the Academy utilizes, the RSL Academy provides one of the most unique and prosperous outlets in North American soccer from top to bottom to cultivate top-tier talent.
To read more about Zions Bank Training Center and the resources provided at the Herriman facility, click here.