The final leg of the 2020 preseason for Real Salt Lake is officially underway as the team opened training at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona on Wednesday.
RSL will continue its preseason preparations in Tucson through February 22 and will play matches against Sporting Kansas City, Houston Dynamo and USL Championship side Phoenix Rising FC over the next two weeks.
After inclement weather forced the team to cancel its training session on Tuesday afternoon in Tucson, the clouds broke for a beautiful morning session on Wednesday that saw the team take the field for two hours of hard work. With focus set on tying defensive principles to attacking principles, Head Coach Freddy Juarez and his staff led the group through small-sided matches and eventually into a full 11v11 match to end the day.
“The sun is out, and the fields are beautiful right now,” Juarez said after Wednesday’s training. “This week we want to get as much soccer as we can out of small-sided games, and we got just that out of the first day here in Tucson. We’ve pushed the guys now for three weeks with two-a-days and now we’re looking at things week-to-week as the season will look. We’re polishing things that we can get better at and we’re looking forward to the matches we have down here.”
His First Session
Wednesday marked the first official training session for Justin Meram who signed with the club on Tuesday. The 31-year-old Iraq international and nine-year MLS veteran joined RSL as a free agent having spent the 2019 season with Atlanta United. Meram participated fully in the session and was eager to begin competing for time on the field.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity here with Salt Lake and I feel like coming here was the right move for me and my career right now,” Meram said. “This team has a lot of guys with quality and they understand the game with each other. I’ve played against RSL several times, so I know what this team is about, and they were always difficult to play against. RSL has always been in the playoff picture and I’m excited to help the team build on that.”
RSL will return the training field on Thursday in preparation for its match on Saturday against Sporting Kansas City at Kino North Stadium.