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Two RSL Players Selected To U.S. Youth National Teams


HERRIMAN, Utah (Tuesday, March 19, 2024) – While Real Salt Lake (1-2-1, 4 pts., 8th West MLS) resumes its 2024MLS campaign this weekend in Vancouver, two of its younger players – playmaker Diego Luna and GK Gavin Beavers – have been selected by U.S. Youth National Team coaches for their setups for this week’s FIFA international window. 

Luna joins the U.S. Olympic Team at its Spain/France-based camp ahead of games against Guinea (Friday, March 22) and France (Monday, March 25), while Beavers is in Morocco with the U.S. U-20 Team prior to games against England (Sunday, March 24) and Morocco (Tuesday, March 26). Both players will return to Utah ahead of RSL’s next home League contest, on Saturday, March 30 against St. Louis CITY SC (kickoff 7:30p MT at America First Field; tickets available at 

RSL starlet Diego Luna – who would probably have as many as 3 assists this year once MLS re-institutes secondary assists – signed a long-term contract extension with the Club earlier this month, keeping the affectionately known “Moon Boy” with the Utah side through the 2026 season, with Club options for 2027/28. Luna – who received his first-ever USMNT cap in January’s friendly with Slovenia in San Antonio – is now considered a U22 roster designation for RSL, joining Braian Ojeda and Nelson Palacio, as winger Andrés Gómez is moved into the “Young DP” slot, alongside Chicho Arango and newcomer Matt Crooks(TAM-able in MLS’ secondary window this summer).

Luna emerged last season as a late-season talisman for the Claret-and-Cobalt, scoring critical goals in each of the final five matches – two MLS reg. season contests, providing the equalizers in both leg one and leg three of the Playoffs at Houston, and scoring the game-clinching PK in the leg two elimination match at home. Luna recently earned his first U.S. Men’s National Team appearance in the January friendly in San Antonio against Slovenia, starting and playing 77 minutes in the very same free role drifting off left wing that he has made his own at RSL.  

2024 should be a big year for Luna, whose role within the team is certain to expand after he has now started 25 of 29 games following his return from USYNT qualifying last summer. This year, Luna will have to juggle his Club obligations with potential U.S. Men’s National Team duty in June’s Copa America and his almost certain Olympic Team duty in July. The Paris Olympics schedule dovetails nicely with the Leagues Cup slate, minimizing Luna’s potential absences from MLS reg. season contests. 

This summer marks the return of the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team to the Games for the first time
since 2008. The Men’s Olympic Soccer Tournament is restricted to players under the age of 23,
with an allowance for three overage players. The Men’s Olympic Soccer Team is as an important
part of the Federation’s mission to develop winning teams as it will provide some of the nation’s
top young talent the opportunity to face elite opposition on the world stage next summer.

Beavers – who started and played well in RSL’s 1-2 home loss to Colorado back on March 9, conceding one non-penalty goal and making five saves – is one of 24 players called into the U.S. U-20 camp by Men’s YNT head coach 

Michael Nsien, for matches against England on Sunday, March 24 and the host nation on Tuesday, March 26. Both matches will take place at Morocco’s National Training Center in Rabat. The USA is preparing for this summer’s CONCACAF U-20Championship in Mexico, which will send four nations to the 2025 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Chile.

The 2024 CONCACAF U-20 Championship is open to players born on or after Jan. 1, 2005. Nsien
will lead the 2005-birth year U-19 MYNT during its preparations for and at the CONCACAF
Championship this summer.

RSL was not originally expected to be at or even near full-strength for this week’s trip to Vancouver during the FIFA window, as several countries – Chile (Pablo Ruiz), Colombia (DF Bryan Vera, FW Andrés Gómez), Costa Rica (Bryan Oviedo), Ecuador (Anderson Julio), Paraguay (Braian Ojeda) and the United States (Fidel Barajas) had RSL names on their preliminary rosters. For various reasons, only Luna and Beavers ended up making the final “Club and Country” callups.