Real Monarchs SLC are just over a week into its preseason with goals and expectations being put in place from the outset. Led by Martín Vasquez, the club now has a unique challenge and opportunity to meld the RSL Academy and Real Salt Lake together through the Monarchs.
“From the beginning we set out to make sure everyone is fit and has a good base,” Vasquez said. “On the soccer side we want to set the foundation for the way we want to play this season. Once we have our whole group here, we can start setting our individual goals and accomplish the team’s goals. That’s what we’re working hard towards.”
Through the first week of preseason the level of competition has been high, in part to the opportunity some of the RSL Academy players have had to train and learn from the USL Championship side. Touted as one of the premier coaches and leaders in developing players not only in America, but worldwide, Vasquez has already helped usher in a new era for the Monarchs and the RSL Academy.
“One of the reasons we’ve had good sessions here after just one week is because of the RSL Academy players,” Vasquez reflected. “They are top players that have been in the sessions and have the quality and they’re ready. They’ve really helped us bring the level on the field and in the locker room up so that we can be the best we can be. We’re fortunate to have the RSL Academy right here that allows us to do that. With the interaction of the Academy players in the team we are able to be competitive and they’ve responded positively.”
The RSL Academy players who haven’t yet had the opportunity to train at the professional level either with the Monarchs or RSL have stayed connected to the professional ranks by seizing every opportunity to watch the training sessions. The RSL Academy players can now not only see players and friends their age train with the pros, but can also learn directly from their former coach in Vasquez and comprehend what is expected of them at the Academy level and the pros.
Players have watched and participated with the club in being put through its paces with its fitness testing and sometimes two sessions a day as the club prepares for its fifth season in the USL Championship.
“Our team will be ready to start the season on March 9 in Sacramento and we’ll be ready to compete,” Vasquez said. “To have a group of players that have set both team goals and individual goals is important going into the first week. Right now, we’re hungry for the competition within the group that we have and the RSL Academy players that have been training with us and watching us.”
Real Monarchs SLC will face Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday, March 9 to open its fifth campaign in the USL Championship. The Monarchs will then return home the following weekend to host league newcomer El Paso Locomotive FC at Zions Bank Stadium on March 16, a venue in which the Monarchs earned a league-best home record of 13-2-2 in 2018.
Real Monarchs SLC season tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by going to RealMonarchs.com or by calling 844.REAL.TIX.