Weekly RSL Newsletter: November 14, 2017

SANDY, Utah (Monday, November 13, 2017) - The Real Salt Lake pyramid remains busy during the Claret-and-Cobalt offseason in preparation for 2018, as both RSL and the Real Monarchs settle into offseason workings. Meanwhile, both RSL Academy teams look to continue phenomenal starts to their U.S. Soccer Development Academy seasons as they travel to Southern California for two matches this weekend, with the Club's Zions Bank Academy campus in Herriman entering the final stages of construction.

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake may be in the off-season, but club MVP and Golden Boot winner MF Albert Rusnák from staying busy. The midfielder was called in to the Slovakian National Team for a pair of friendlies against Ukraine and Norway. He earned the start and played 90 minutes in the first match on Friday in Ukraine, a 2-1 defeat that saw Slovakia jump out to an early 1-0 lead only to see the home side respond with goals in the 39th and 54th minutes to come back.

Slovakia will face Norway at home on Tuesday for the first time since a friendly in 2010.

Real Monarchs

A pair of Real Monarchs players, FW Chandler Hoffman and MF Sebastian Velasquez, have been selected to the 2017 USL All-League First Team after team management and league-wide media voted for the top performers from the 2017 USL Regular Season. Both players earned career years in their first season with the Monarchs, helping the team to a 20-5-7 record (67 points) over the course of the regular season. This was the first selection to a USL All-League side for Velasquez and the second All-League selection for Hoffman as he was selected to the All-League First Team in 2014 with LA Galaxy II.

Last week the USL announced its 2017 Awards finalists with the awards set to be announced during USL Awards Week between Monday, Nov. 20 and Wednesday, Nov. 22. Real Monarchs Head Coach Mark Briggs and Hoffman are both nominated for the end-of-season awards with Briggs being nominated as a Coach of the Year finalist and Hoffman for Most Valuable Player. The Coach of the Year will be announced on Monday, Nov. 20 with league MVP being announced on Wednesday Nov. 22.

Louisville City FC and Swope Park Rangers will face off in the 2017 USL Cup at Slugger Field in Louisville on Monday, November 13 (ESPNU, 7:00 p.m. MT) for the final match in the 2017 USL season. The two sides each booked their places in this year's USL Cup via shootout victories on Nov. 4 as Louisville beat defending USL Cup Champions New York Red Bulls II while Swope Park beat OKC Energy. The Monarchs went 1-0-1 against Swope Park in 2017 and didn't face Eastern Conference foe Louisville City, which will host Monday's final by virtue of entering the tournament as the top-seeded team in the east.

Real Salt Lake Academy

Both Real Salt Lake U-17 and U-19 Academy sides continue training this week ahead of a two-game weekend in Southern California against Real So. Cal. And Arsenal FC on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

This weekend's matches will be the first matches in two weeks after both squads earned emphatic shutout victories in their last matches over San Diego Surf back on the weekend of October 28, with the U-17s winning 3-0 at America First Field in Sandy, followed by the U-19s delivering another dominant victory, winning 8-0.

FW Ben Ortiz boasts eight goals this season for the U-17s, sitting in fourth place among West U-17 "Golden Boot" leaders (Ortiz also scored twice in three games as the 17s went 2-1-0 in MLS Generation adidas Cup qualifying). For the RSL U-19s, FW Sebastian Soto is placed second in the country in goals scored (13) and goals per game (2.16), after scoring four goals against the Surf in the side's last contest. The U-17s remain unbeaten in U.S. Soccer Development Academy action, owning an overall 5-0-1 record this season, outscoring opponents 19-3 on the season.

The U-19s won its fifth consecutive match for Head Coach Martin Vasquez, moving to 5-1-0 on the year, dominating opponents by a 33-1 scoreline, with four shutouts in the active five-game win streak.

The Academy sides now prepare for back-to-back games in Southern California this weekend first facing Real So. Cal on Sat., Nov. 18 before a Sun., Nov. 19 matchup with Arsenal FC. Both U-17 matches will kick off at 11:00a MT with the U-19s following shortly after at 1:30p and 1:00p MT on the 18th and 19th respectively.

Below is the training schedule for the RSL Academy teams for the remainder of the week ahead of the two-game weekend. With this week's training schedule, media members are strongly encouraged to attend trainings at the Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman to become acquainted and familiar with the development of RSL's young talent as the club strives to produce successful young players on the national stage:

Tues., Nov. 14:     7:00a - 9:00a MT - Utah Sports Lodge - ALL
Wed., Nov. 15:     5:30p - 8:00p MT - Juan Diego Catholic High School - ALL
Thurs., Nov. 16:     7:00a - 9:00a MT - Utah Sports Lodge - ALL
Fri., Nov. 17:     Travel Day
Sat., Nov. 18:     11:00a MT - U-17s Kick off @ Real So. Cal. - Oak Park High School Stadium
  1:30p MT - U-19s Kick off @ Real So. Cal. - Oak Park High School Stadium
Sun., Nov. 19:     11:00a - U-17s Kick off @ Arsenal FC - Galway Downs Academy 1
  1:00p - U-19s Kick off @ Arsenal FC - Galway Downs Academy 1

The rest of the Real Salt Lake Academy schedule can be found at RSL.com/Academy as well as any other information regarding the Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman. If you plan on attending a training session / game and requesting access, please contact RSL Media Services personnel Taran Meyer at (801) 657-2161 / tmeyer@rsl.com a day in advance for arrangements.

***The Zions Bank Real Academy Campus in Herriman - located at 14788 South Academy Parkway (3718 West) - MUST be entered off of Mountain View Corridor, just West of the Facility***