A new face joined Real Salt Lake’s training camp in Herriman on Wednesday, as newly-signed forward Alfredo Ortuño was at the Zions Bank Real Academy training center on the third day of preseason for Real Salt Lake.
The forward, who celebrated his 27th birthday on Sunday, traveled from his native Spain, arriving in Utah on Tuesday evening. After meeting the team, he worked on the side of the field to get acclimated to his new environs – adjusting to the time zone changes, the jet lag from his day of travel and the mountainous altitude. Although he didn’t get a chance to take the field, he was happy with his first day with his new club.
“It was a great first impression, a great first practice. I look forward to playing,” Ortuño said through a translator. “I’m really excited to be here and be part of the team.”
Ortuño has spent all of his 10 professional seasons in Spain, playing primarily in the second division. While this is his maiden voyage abroad to play, he didn’t go into decision blindly. In the 2015 season, he played with Las Palmas in Spain with current Real Salt Lake defender Marcelo Silva. That connection helped Ortuño learn about the league, the club and the city and influenced his decision to sign with RSL.
A 17-goal scorer with Cadiz in the 2016-17 season, Ortuño expects to be involved in training on Thursday.
U.S. Trio Readies for January Friendly
The RSL triumvirate of Justen Glad, Danny Acosta and Brooks Lennon is away at the U.S. National Team’s January camp in Carson, California. They are three of four players in the camp – along with New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams – that represented the U.S. in the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup. That foursome not only won the CONCACAF U-20 Championship for the first time for U.S. Soccer, but also advanced to the Quarterfinal Round in the World Cup, falling in overtime to eventual runners-up Venezuela.
Now with their eyes set on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after the U.S. failed to qualify for this year’s tournament final in Russia, there is optimism and focus in camp as the next cycle starts early.
“Every time you wear the crest, it’s a responsibility,” Acosta told USsoccer.com. “We didn’t make the World Cup. We’re sad about that, we’re disappointed, but it’s a new start for everyone. I feel a responsibility now to help push things forward, and I would say the 28 other guys in this camp feel the same way.”
To read the full story about the youthful core, click here.
The Grind Continues
After two days with two training sessions each, RSL will hold just one session each day for the remainder of the time in Utah before leaving for Tucson, Arizona next week.