A busy summer awaits the Real Salt Lake organization and despite breaks in the Major League Soccer, National Women’s Soccer League and USL Championship seasons, players in the organization will be participating in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cups as well as the 2019 Gold Cup.
For the U-20s, two players who have featured prominently for Real Monarchs SLC this season will feature for their respective countries as David Ochoa (United States) and Luis Palma (Honduras) are both set to make their marks for their countries. Ochoa, 18, currently owns two clean sheets in seven starts for the Monarchs this season, catching the attention of U.S. fans across the country. Just three weeks into the season, the RSL Homegrown signing led the USL Championship in saves and shutouts and is currently tied for sixth place in the league in saves with 30. He also has one penalty save to his name.
Palma, 19, has featured in two matches for the Monarchs this season and although he has yet to score his first goal for the club, he has made waves for his play on the wing for the Monarchs. In his second match for the club, Palma suffered an ankle injury but is now back to full health, making his mark for the Honduras U-20 side where he has scored three goals in three matches for his country during the team’s tune-up matches for the World Cup. He scored against Valencia B, Hercules and Argentina in the group’s tune-up matches before the team opens its World Cup venture against New Zealand in the first match in Group C.
RSL forward and reigning AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year Corey Baird has also been named to the United States senior team’s preliminary Gold Cup roster. Baird is one of 78 MLS players to be named to preliminary squads with the USMNT leading the way with 24 MLS players on their squad. The 2019 Gold Cup kicks off on June 15 when Canada faces Martinique before Mexico plays Cuba. The USMNT plays its first match on June 18, against Guyana.
Utah Royals FC has six players set to feature in this summer’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. For the USWNT defenders Becky Sauerbrunn and Kelley O’Hara will join forward Christen Press in an attempt to retain the team’s World Cup title after the U.S. earned its third star in 2015. For New Zealand, defender Katie Bowen will represent the Lady Ferns in her third World Cup, despite being just 25 years old. Utah Royals FC will also look to be represented by Canada at this summer’s tournament as midfielder Desiree Scott and Canada continue preparations ahead of its official squad announcement.
The pedigree of what Utah Royals FC offers isn’t just on the field but off the field in the training room as well. Emily Fortunato, head athletic trainer for URFC was invited to be a part of the USWNT staff as an assistant athletic trainer for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The invitation for Fortunato with an opportunity to not only represent her country on the highest stage, but as a testament to the mantra the club has set forth in late-2017: to be the best in the world.