RSL in Tucson: Preparing for the Desert Diamond Cup

Real Salt Lake put in its second full training session today in Tucson in RSL’s final preseason camp before the start of the 2014 MLS regular season. The Claret-and-Cobalt welcomed back forward Alvaro Saborio who was absent from yesterday’s session due to an MLS media tour. The squad looked energetic and focused today as Head Coach Jeff Cassar ran 11v11 scrimmages and emphasized tactical awareness.

Real Salt Lake faces New England Revolution tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. MT in the first match of the Desert Diamond Cup. I had a few minutes after practice with RSL Goalkeeper Coach Daryl Shore to get his take on how Tucson has gone so far and what his expectations are for the Desert Diamond Cup. How has Tucson been so far?
Shore: “The weather has been nice, the guys have come in with a couple of days off so they’ve got a new sense of energy and I think they are looking forward to the amount of games they are going to play. So the past two training sessions have been very spirited so far.” The team had relaxed training session yesterday, how did it differ today and what will the rest of the two-week camp start to look like?
Shore: “I think intensity wise it was increased but we did a lot more 11v11 and tactical work, so I think in this camp you’ll see us working on more of our shape and more of how we want to defend but also attack. I think today’s session was not a normal day before game session because we had a lot of things to cover. But again, the energy was good and the spirit was great and the guys were getting after it.” Desert Diamond Cup action begins tomorrow with a match against New England Revolution, has training been any different in preparation for the tournament?
Shore: “We’re still in preseason so we’re not really worried about results but at the same time we have to start ramping guys up with their minutes, especially now we’re getting toward the last two weeks of preseason where results are going to start to matter. More importantly for us in this tournament, is that we put a good effort in and keep working on what we’re doing defensively but also hopefully score a couple goals and get a positive result.” This is Real Salt Lake’s third year in the Desert Diamond Cup. RSL finished third in 2012 and second in 2013, is there any extra motivation to win it this year?
Shore: “This is my first year at the Desert Diamond Cup so I of course want to win it; but I think anytime you’re going to play MLS competition the stakes are raised and there is a trophy involved and this club is all about winning trophies. So I think this would send a good message to our players and to the rest of the league if we can win.”