Herriman, Utah (Thursday, September 5, 2019) – Real Salt Lake announced that the club has hired Cody Worden, Chris Gores and Rob Rogers as coaches for the club’s youth development academy.
“I think we have all the tools at our disposal to become a world class youth development program. With the facility and the investment from the club and ownership in youth development, we have everything we need. So it was important to get a staff in place that could facilitate that development,” Real Salt Lake Assistant General Manager Elliot Fall said. “The staff, we feel, is second to none in this country. We’ve got a staff that will both create an environment for development on the field and development as young men off the field as well and that’s equally important to us.”
Worden has served as Academy and Boys Director of Coaching at the prestigious Surf Soccer Club in San Diego from 2015-2019, one of the most prolific youth academies in the country in terms of player development and on-field success.
Prior to joining Surf, Worden coached at the youth and collegiate levels. He started with the University of Texas at Dallas before stops with St. Mary’s College of CA, UC-Riverside and Dominican University of CA. Meanwhile, he also worked as a coach and director with USYSA Region IV, the San Jose Earthquakes (serving as Director of the pre-Academy program on the East Bay), Diablo FC and FC Golden State. At his various stops, he worked with players aged eight to college seniors.
Gores comes to RSL by way of the University of Washington, where he has served as an assistant coach under Jamie Clark since 2014. He helped lead the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament in four of his five seasons. Previously, he served as an assistant coach at Florida Gulf Coast University and Harvard University.
A graduate of Stanford University, Gores played eight professional seasons in the USL and was captain of the Puerto Rican National Team, participating in 2010 World Cup Qualifying and the 2005 Digicel Cup.
Rogers joins RSL’s staff after three years as the Technical Programs Director at Surf Soccer Club in San Diego Surf. Before moving west, he had extensive experience in Mississippi. In addition to serving as an assistant coach at his alma mater William Carey University and at the University of Southern Mississippi, he also was a club coach with the Hattiesburg Youth Soccer Association and climbed the ranks with Mississippi Fuego in the WPSL, ultimately taking the Head Coach role in 2014.
Raised in Cheltenham, England, Rogers came to the U.S. in 2007 to play collegiate soccer at William Carey University. After earning his BS in Physical Education, going on to the University of Southern Mississippi to complete a MS in Coaching Education.
In addition to Worden, Gores and Rogers, Mirza Harambasic has been retained after his first season with the RSL Academy in 2018-19. A product of Denver University, Harambasic coached three seasons at the University of Hartford before joining the RSL Academy coaching staff last season.
Real Salt Lake’s Academy has long garnered attention for its success on the field and in developing professional players. In addition to winning the 2012-13 USSDA U-15/16 championship, RSL has twice since reached the final along with reaching the final in the GA Cup in 2014. The Academy will open play in the 2019-20 season on Sunday at Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman, Utah, facing the Portland Timbers Academy. Kickoff is scheduled for 9 a.m. for the U-15s, 11:30 a.m. for the U-17s and 2 p.m. for the U-19s.
Real Salt Lake has signed 21 Academy products to first-team contracts, including 12 on the current roster. Among those who have signed, 2018 AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year Corey Baird has started in three matches for the U.S. National Team while Justen Glad and Brooks Lennon have also been called into U.S. camps and Carlos Salcedo has been a mainstay for the Mexican National Team. In total, 53 products of the RSL Academy have signed professional contracts.