Real Salt Lake closed out a week of voluntary training with an intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday at Zions Bank Training Center in Herriman.
With a week of sessions under their belts, Head Coach Freddy Juarez was looking for three objectives – fitness, build-out and verticality. After four goals were scored between the two teams, he got all that and more from the 45-minute 11v11 session.
“I loved the exercise. When you look at the three objectives that we wanted to hit, I thought it was a successful exercise from everyone’s point of view,” Juarez said. “Getting goals is 100 percent great. We want to do that. But I think the chance creation was pretty good as well. Both teams were going at each other and being dynamic. The goals came through direct play and some runs in space. It was nice to see a goal coming from wide when we were able to get wide and get numbers into the box to get on the end of service. We saw a goal from winning a ball in a good area and transitioning. When you see goals coming from the different parts that we have been talking about, that’s exactly where we are going to grow.”
Among the goal-scorers were Chris Garcia, Rubio Rubin, Maikel Chang and Albert Rusnak.
According to Juarez, the goal from Rusnak was particularly rewarding because it came in a way that the coaching staff had worked with Rusnak on throughout the week.
“We saw exactly what we went over with him and then he scores a great goal from those actions,” Juarez said. “That’s what we want to see more from Albert.”
With the conclusion of voluntary training, RSL will continue with regular sessions on Monday from the Zions Bank Training Center. During those sessions, Juarez aims to continue the team’s progress in building towards the regular-season opener the weekend of April 17.
“We want to get better step-by-step,” he said. “We want to keep building on our base and getting fitter and sharper. We want to understand the things we want to do a little bit more and naturally go into the next phase of the game.”