Real Salt Lake started the second leg of training camp in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday, with Head Coach Freddy Juarez taking the team through the paces at the Reach 11 Sports Complex.
During this portion of training camp, RSL will be joined by the staff from Real Salt Lake-AZ, giving the coaches a chance to interact with the players and coaches from one of club’s satellite affiliates.
Monday was all about getting acclimated to the Arizona sun and playing on grass for the first time in preseason after working on the turf of the indoor facility at the Zions Bank Training Center for the first week.
As projected by Juarez, some of the keys to the training session involved utilizing more of the field in the buildup to the patterns in the final-third. Precision passing and off-ball movement were crucial in the drills as Juarez expanded the attacking drills throughout the session.
A Numbers Game
RSL has several new additions to the squad this year and a few other players that have changed uniform numbers for 2020.
Zac MacMath has taken the familiar goalkeeper number 18 for his first season with the club. Ashtone Morgan will wear number 3 while another newcomer to the backline Alvin Jones will wear No. 2. Meanwhile, RSL Academy and UCLA product Milan Iloski will wear 23 in his first MLS season.
After moving from the Monarchs to RSL following the 2019 USL Championship title-winning season, forward Maikel Chang switched from 44 to 16. A mid-season promotion from the Monarchs saw Douglas Martinez wearing No. 42 in 2019. Now in his first preseason with RSL, he is wearing 12. Another standout for the Monarchs in their championship run, goalkeeper David Ochoa switched from 24 to 1 for his second professional season.
Finally, Corey Baird switched from 17 to 10, occupying a new number for his third season.
Familiar Faces Add Depth in Camp
Now 629 miles from the Zions Bank Training Center in Herriman, RSL brought with it several non-roster players to fill out numbers in camp. Among those not on the first-team roster is veteran midfielder Luke Mulholland, Real Monarchs defender and Salt Lake City native Taylor Peay and RSL’s first round pick in the 2020 SuperDraft Dayonn Harris. In addition, the RSL Academy is well-represented with Chris Garcia, Bode Davis and Jeff Dewsnup participating in camp.
RSL will have two training sessions on Tuesday at the Reach 11 Sports Complex, continuing the grind of preseason with 33 days remaining until the season-opening matchup against Orlando City SC.