Weekly Club Update: December 11, 2017

SANDY, Utah (Monday, December 11, 2017) – The Real Salt Lake pyramid remains busy during the Claret-and-Cobalt offseason in preparation for 2018, as RSL and Real Monarchs SLC continue to make strides during the offseason ahead of several key dates in both the MLS and USL. Utah Royals FC added to its staff on Monday after the Real Salt Lake Academy played its first-ever matches at the Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman. Here is what you need to know for the week of December 11:
 
Real Salt Lake
 
Real Salt Lake has announced the 11 players on the club’s Protected Player list in advance of the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft, taking place this Tuesday, December 12.  Los Angeles FC will select five players with no club losing more than one player to the expansion side.
The following 11 RSL players will not be eligible for selection by LAFC when Major League Soccer’s newest club makes its selections:
GK Nick Rimando
DF Justen Glad
DF David Horst
DF Marcelo Silva
MF Kyle Beckerman
MF Luke Mulholland
MF Albert Rusnák
MF Sebastian Saucedo
FW Joao Plata
FW Jefferson Savarino
FW Luis Silva
 
In addition to those 11 players, Homegrown Players DF Danilo Acosta, FW Jordan Allen, MF Jose Hernandez, FW Brooks Lennon and FW Ricardo Velazco are exempt from the draft and cannot be selected.  Glad and Saucedo are products of RSL’s Academy, too, but are no longer exempt from the Expansion Draft because they were listed on RSL’s senior roster in 2017.
 
With the Protected Player list established, this means that the following players under contract in 2017 with Real Salt Lake will be available for selection by LAFC:
 
Goalkeepers: Connor Sparrow, Matt VanOekel
Defenders: Tony Beltran, Reagan Dunk, Demar Phillips, Justin Schmidt, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert
Midfielders: Nick Besler, Omar Holness, Sunny
Forwards: Chad Barrett, Yura Movsisyan
Major League Soccer has 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:
 
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.
 
Utah Royals
 
Royals FC hired Scott Parkinson as an assistant coach and will join the club’s NWSL coaching staff for the 2018 season. Parkinson recently completed his second season as Head Coach at Rogers State University in Oklahoma, where he earned Heartland Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2017.
 
Parkinson served as the head coach of the RSU women's soccer program for two years, leading the Hillcats to a 13-4-3 record this season, with a runner-up finish in the Heartland Conference Tournament.  In a record-breaking 2017 campaign, RSU conceded the fewest goals in a season in RSU history with only 12 allowed, asthe team amassed a school-record 11 shutouts.  Parkinson finished his Rogers State tenure with a 19-13-6 record across two seasons.
 
Last Friday the club announced the name and logo of the newest piece to the RSL pyramid as Utah Royals FCahead of its inaugural season in the NWSL set to begin April of 2018. Featuring the silhouette of Delicate Arch – Utah’s most famous monument – paired with a lion and the club’s name, the Royal’s logo carries the club’s colors and the crown represented by all of the teams under the RSL brand.
 
Real Monarchs
 
On Nov. 29 the Monarchs announced the signing of former Charleston Battery duo Justin Portillo and Maikel Chang along with former New York Cosmos defender David Diosa. Portillo and Chang both come to the Monarchs to strengthen an already rigid midfield core while Diosa adds stability and athleticism to the backline ahead of the 2018 season.
 
Below are the 13 players currently rostered by the Monarchs by position:
 
Goalkeepers: (1) Andrew Putna
Defenders: (3) Michael Gallagher, James Moberg, David Diosa
Midfielders: (7) Danny Cruz, Charlie Adams, Karsten Hanlin, Sebastian Velasquez, Andrew Brody, Justin Portillo, Maikel Chang
Forwards: (2) Chandler Hoffman, Juan Mare
 
Real Salt Lake Academy
 
The Real Salt Lake Academy sides returned to action this weekend, playing its first home matches in over a month as they hosted Strikers FC for the inaugural matches at the Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman. The U-17s opened the weekend with an emphatic 7-0 win before the U-19s played to a 2-2 draw.
 
Having not won a match since Nov. 18, the U-17s returned to winning ways in an emphatic 7-0 victory over Strikers FC. RSL was led by FW Ben Ortiz who returned to the scoresheet in sublime fashion, scoring a first half hat trick to bring his goal tally for the season to 12 goals in as many matches in U.S. Soccer Development Academy regular season action. Ortiz now ranks in sixth place in the U-17 Southwest Division, just two goals behind the leader in five less matches played. Adding goals in the victory were MFs Luis Arriaga and Adrian Virgen with Zackery Farnsworth adding two goals on either side of halftime. GK David Ochoa played the full match in goal for RSL, earning the shutout.
 
In the second match of the day, the U-19s earned a 2-2 draw with Strikers FC as FW Sebastian Sotocontinued his blistering goal scoring run, scoring both goals for RSL in the draw. Soto remains the leader in the “Golden Boot” race on the U-19 U.S. Soccer Development Academy scoring charts with 23 goals in just 12 matches. Soto has now scored six goals in his last four matches.
 
The U-17s currently sit in second place in the league’s Southwest Division with a 7-2-3 record (24 points). The U-19 group also sits in second place in the league’s Southwest Division and after its first draw of the season, carries with it a 9-2-1 (27 points) record.
 
Entering a lengthy break for the holiday season, the Academy sides will look ahead to a matchup with the Santa Cruz Breakers Academy on January 20 at the Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman. The U-17s will open proceedings after the holiday break at 11:00 a.m. MT with the U-19s following at 1:30 p.m. MT. The Academy’s full match schedule can be viewed here: rsla.ussoccerda.comThe Academy’s training schedule for this week is as follows:
 
Tues., Dec. 12 – 7:00a – 9:00a MT – Zions Bank Real Academy
 
Wed., Dec. 13 – 7:00a – 9:00a MT – Zions Bank Real Academy
 
Thurs., Dec. 14 – 7:00a – 9:00a MT – Zions Bank Real Academy
 
Fri., Dec. 15 – 7:00a – 9:00a MT – Zions Bank Real Academy
 
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***