What makes a professional team tick? Besides the players putting forth their best efforts on the field and the coaching staff piecing together their team’s performances, the team needs the right gear, flights to away matches and the correct treatments to stay healthy. Off the field, players are able to improve by watching themselves and can push themselves to get stronger in order to perform each match day.
Five people in particular help the Monarchs behind the scenes, day in and day out to make sure the team has what it needs to be one of the elite clubs in the United Soccer League year after year.
Every professional team needs the right gear and in soccer, the kit man in each team becomes one of the most welcomed faces in the locker room. From cleats to uniforms and training gear, Randy Butts makes sure the Monarchs have all the gear it needs. Every morning, Butts arrives early to make sure each and every player and member of the coaching staff has the appropriate training gear set out neatly, folded and in top shape ready to be used. Butts also sets out each player’s boots the way each player likes to see them. A meticulous routine each and every day after training ensues as Butts begins setting out the next day’s garments as laundry from the previous day is being washed.
On match day, the Monarchs locker room is set up as one of the most pristine in all of USL. Butts prides himself on organization and making sure every players kit is perfectly aligned, and each locker looks the same and is presented in a professional manner.
Work doesn’t stop for Real Monarchs Team Administrator Taymour Roushdi as he has seen and dealt with anything and everything that professional sports can throw at a single person. From making sure everyone at the club has exactly what they need from housing, meals, and hotels, to finding schools for children of players and staff at the club, Roushdi takes care of it all. Roushdi’s responsibilities are amplified on trips away from Zions Bank Stadium and at times can become very tricky, very quickly.
When things go wrong, Taymour works his magic and selflessly ensures others have what they need to be successful in all facets. Together with the entire administration department at Real Salt Lake, the club gets to where it needs to be and has what it needs courtesy of Taymour and others. For his efforts during the 2018 season, Roushdi was recognized by the USL as the Western Conference Operations MVP.
Beginning his journey with RSL in 2013, Marshall Stoddard quietly became one of the friendliest faces at the club and to Real Monarchs supporters, the best physio in the entire league. On a daily basis, ‘Coyote’ as he is addressed within the team, makes sure the Monarchs are healthy and well taken care of so that they can perform on the field to the best of their ability. Together with the strength and conditioning staff, Stoddard is one of the first members to arrive at Zions Bank Training Center to prepare for the arrival of players for treatment on match day and training days. Stoddard ensures that each and every player is comfortable and healthy to give a full effort each time the club steps onto the field.
In his first season with Real Monarchs, Ryan Thamm – together with RSL’s sports performance staff – put science into the game of soccer. Every day at training, Real Monarchs players are fitted with GPS trackers and heart rate monitors. The data is collected in real time on a field-side computer, where Thamm monitors the overall workload of the group and the individual metrics of each player. Trained to identify if a player is surpassing his work load or needs a boost to reach his physical goals, Thamm implements the metrics of performance standards in daily training sessions and match days to help the players perform at the highest level.
Each Real Monarchs match is broadcast live on ESPN3 and other outlets and after the match, the coaching staff uses that footage to help the players see where they can improve in its next match. Preston Gayton is the man behind the scenes as his keen eye is able to dissect match and training footage to aid the coaching staff in player development, plan training sessions and prepare for the next match. Gayton’s ability to cut and edit video to each player’s specific needs allows the team and its staff to sit down with the players individually, or as a group, in an attempted to reach a unified understanding of what needs to happen on the field in order to be successful.