After a day’s rest, Head Coach Jamison Olave and the Real Monarchs were back at Zions Bank Training Center preparing for a scrimmage against the RSL Academy on Saturday.
The week’s training still saw a mix of Monarchs and players from the RSL Academy as a few Monarchs such as Taylor Peay train with Real Salt Lake in Arizona. Meanwhile, Olave and his coaching staff have continued to work diligently with the available roster to form their identity ahead of the 2020 season.
Bringing it All Together
Just as planned, the first session on Thursday’s double-day training wrapped up with an 11v11 game to tie together the themes the team has focused on through the first five days of preseason.
The game started on a smaller field that saw Damian German and an RSL Academy player net the lone goals before the practice transitioned to a full field. While the increased field-size saw more creative and possession-style plays, neither side found the back of the net.
Thursday’s second session saw the team come together under Assistant Coach Matt Glaeser for set-pieces, practicing movement for corners and plays from dead-ball situations.
The team closed out the week’s training with a single Friday session that trained the themes of passing and counter-pressing before returning to Glaeser’s set-piece plays.
In Front of Goal
The lone goalkeeper on the Monarchs roster – Jimmy Slayton – has been hard at work with Goalkeeper Coach Mirza Harambasic over the last five days, working alongside a rotating cast of Academy players. Despite mainly training apart from the rest of the team, Slayton has had no trouble finding his spot among the rest of the Monarchs.
“With the position, communication is extremely important,” Harambasic noted. “Getting to know the guys the first few days is always harder with a new team but just in those five days he is already really comfortable and not shy to talk to anyone and building a good relationship with the guys.”
While touching upon reaction timing and reach, the focus for Slayton has been building on his technical footwork and building upon his ability to play with his feet to help play from out of the back.
“The higher the levels you go, the importance of goalkeepers being able to play with their feet is extremely important,” Harambasic explained. “We’re still touching on everything, but that’s been the main focus.”
Real Monarchs and the RSL Academy will cap off the week of training with a full-sided scrimmage against one another Saturday afternoon. With it being one of the first true tests after a week of training, Olave will be keeping an eye out for a few key items.
“First of all, we have been working on the counter-press,” Olave said after Friday’s training. “We want to play the counter-press this year. We did a good job last year, but we want to improve that so that’s one of the things we want to see. Since we’ve had to mix teams, there wasn’t much we could work on, so we’ll try put a little pressure on the sideline. We will see the trialist guys and see how good they are, to see if they can stay or to maybe help the team or not.”