Weekly RSL Newsletter: November 21, 2017


Tues. – Sat., Nov. 21-25, 2017

SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, November 21, 2017) – The Real Salt Lake pyramid remains busy during the Claret-and-Cobalt offseason in preparation for 2018, as club owner Dell Loy Hansen announced the inception of a National Women’s Soccer League franchise in Utah last week. RSL and the Monarchs are busy with preparations for 2018 while the Academy sides continue their blistering start to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy season as the Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman enters the final stages of construction.

Real Salt Lake

On November 14, Albert Rusnák made his eighth appearance for the Slovakian National Team in a 1-0 win over Norway in Trnava, Slovakia.  Rusnák, RSL’s 2017 Golden Boot winner and MVP, started and played 90 minutes as Slovakia got a stoppage-time goal from Stanislav Lobotka to earn the win in the last scheduled game of the year for his country.

Also on November 14, Major League Soccer announced several key off-season dates, including details of the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft as Los Angeles Football Club prepares for the club’s first season.  The important dates are as follows:

Nov. 27 – Option Exercise Deadline – Clubs no longer competing in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs must notify the League office in writing of players whose options they are exercising and/or players who are receiving bona fide offers.

Dec. 10 – Half Day Trade Window – Following a three-month roster freeze, MLS clubs may begin making adjustments to their rosters.  This is a four-hour window in which clubs may sign and trade players.

Dec. 12 – 2017 MLS Expansion Draft – While Generation adidas and off-budget Homegrown Players are automatically exempt, current MLS clubs may protect up to 11 players from selection in the Expansion Draft.  LAFC may select up to five players from the eligible MLS players pool.  Only a single player can be drafted from any one club.

Dec. 12 – Free Agency Begins – Out of contract and Option Decline players that were at least 28 years old during the 2017 season and have at least eight years of MLS service are eligible for Free Agency.

Dec. 13 – 2017 MLS Waiver Draft – Consisting of players who have been waived by clubs and do not meet minimum years of service requirements for Re-Entry Draft or Free Agency; the draft is conducted in reverse order of 2017 season finish, taking into account postseason performance, with expansion LAFC picking 23rd.

Dec. 15 – 2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft, Stage 1 – The Re-Entry Draft is conducted in reverse order of 2017 season finish, taking into account postseason performance, with expansion LAFC selecting last.  The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Draft will be released by MLS Communications on Dec. 14.

Dec. 21 – 2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft, Stage 2 – The list of players eligible for selection in the Re-Entry Draft, Stage 2 will be released by MLS Communications on Dec. 20.


Last Thursday RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen announced that a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) franchise is set to launch in Utah, adding to the depth of the RSL pyramid. Having long been a dream of Hansen’s, bringing a professional women’s organization to Utah has finally come to fruition and is now becoming a reality. "Our goal is build the very best women's sports organization in America," Hansen said of the newest addition to the RSL family. The club is set to begin play in April of 2018 with its home matches to be played at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Fans will now have the opportunity to witness a League featuring the brightest stars in women’s soccer – such as Carli Lloyd, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz, Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe, all of whom helped lead the U.S. Women’s National Team to an unprecedented third World Cup title in 2015. In addition, the league also boasts Canada internationals – and reigning Olympic bronze medalists – Christine Sinclair, Allysha Chapman, Desiree Scott and Shelina Zadorsky as well as international stars such as Brazil legend Marta, Wales dynamo Jess Fishlock and Australia sharpshooter Samantha Kerr.

On Monday the club announced that it has been assigned the player rights of FC Kansas City players after Kansas City ceased operations on late last week. In conjunction with receiving the player rights from Kansas City, Real Salt Lake will also receive Kansas City’s picks in the 2018 NWSL College Draft (currently 4th and 14th overall) and their spot in the Discovery and Waiver Tie-Breaker, as well as the Distribution Ranking Order. The club will also be provided the No. 1 overall pick in the first round of the 2019 College Draft.

Real Monarchs

On Monday the United Soccer League announced its first round of award winners from the 2017 Regular Season. Among the award winners was Monarchs Head Coach Mark Briggs as he was voted the 2017 USL Coach of the Year in his first year with the club. Briggs led the Monarchs to a 20-5-7 record (67 points) over the course of the regular season, solidifying the best season in club history that culminated with the team winning the USL Regular Season Championship Shield.

Last week the club announced it had parted ways with midfielder Daniel Haber after one season. During his time with the Monarchs Haber scored seven goals and added four assists to his name. After leaving the Monarchs Haber has since signed with FC Cincinnati, reuniting with former coach Alan Koch for whom he played under at Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 prior to his stint with the Monarchs.

Real Salt Lake Academy

The Real Salt Lake Academy sides returned to U.S. Soccer Development Academy action this weekend after two weeks off, playing two matches in Southern California against Real So. Cal. and Arsenal FC. The U-17s walked away with a win on Saturday and a draw on Sunday while the U-19 group won both its matches, outscoring opponents 7-1 over the weekend.

The RSL Academy sides visited Real So. Cal. for Saturday’s matches with both teams walking away with 2-0 victories. FW Ben Ortiz and Luis Arriaga scored a goal apiece to earn the full three points for the U-17s before MFs Jordan Pena and Zahir Vasquez each scored for the U-19s in Saturday’s win. GKs Tyler Kirberg and David Ochoa split time in goal for the U-17s to earn the shutout while U-19 GK Jacob Jackson played the full 90 minutes in goal to earn the shutout.

RSL then played matches against Arsenal FC on Sunday with the U-17s fighting to a 1-1 draw before the U-19s earned an emphatic 5-1 victory. MF Noah Beck notched his first goal of the season in the younger group’s draw. FW Sebastian Soto led the way with four goals in the U-19s match while MF Zahir Vasquez added another. Soto’s first-half hat trick – which took eight minutes from his first in the 25th minute to his third in the 33rd – solidified his fourth hat trick of the year and second game scoring four goals. Soto now has 17 goals on the season and is currently tied for the “Golden Boot” lead atop the USSDA scoring charts having only played eight matches.

Having now won seven consecutive matches for Head Coach Martin Vasquez, the U-19s move to 7-1-0 (21 points) on the season, outscoring opponents 40-2 while earning five shutouts in the active seven-match win streak.

Next up for the Academy sides is a trip to Lakewood Ranch Florida for a Winter Showcase tournament. The U-17s will play Atlanta United on Dec. 1, Montreal Impact on Dec. 2 and BW Gottschee Academy on Dec. 4. The U-19s will play matches against the Philadelphia Union on Nov. 30, Montreal Impact on Dec. 1 and Oakwood Soccer Club on Dec. 3.

The next Academy games in the Salt Lake Valley will be Dec. 9 against Strikers FC at 11:00 a.m. for the U-17s and the U-19s at 1:30 p.m. The matches will be the first held at the Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman. The full RSL Academy schedule can be viewed here: rsla.ussoccerda.com

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***