The Salt Lake Tribune’s Chris Kamrani wrote a very nice piece Thursday afternoon on RSL first round SuperDraft pick Ryan Neil. The piece is a great introduction to the Cal-Berkeley product, who projects as a defender for the Claret-and-Cobalt. Give it a read here.
Neil shared several interesting details with Kamrani, with one of the more interesting tidbits coming at the end of the piece. As Kamrani notes, Neil has ties to Utah, with his older sister having attended BYU, often going to RSL matches at Rio Tinto Stadium when she lived in in the Beehive State. The 22-year-old California-native visited his sister in Salt Lake on multiple occasions, and quickly became a fan.
Here’s the money quote, as told to Kamrani: “I’ve been to Salt Lake many times,” Neil said, “and I love it.”
And for those of you wondering, no, Neil is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His sister, however, is LDS.
@pupusa no but my sister is!
— Ryan Neil (@_Ryanneil) January 16, 2014
Real Salt Lake selected defender Ryan Neil in the first round of Thursday's 2014 MLS SuperDraft , drafting the University of California outside back with the 18th overall pick.
Check out highlights from Neil's four-year career at Berkeley above.
(And yeah, we're aware he's listed as a midfielder in the video. He'll line up as a defender for RSL.)
Real Salt Lake Analyst Brian Dunseth – a.k.a. the hardest working man in MLS – is in Philadelphia this week, where he’ll host the 2014 MLS SuperDraft from the Penn Convention Center on Thursday morning.
Dunny will be working the in-house crowd at the SuperDraft, but you’ll likely see at least a cameo or two of him on the ESPNews broadcast of the event, which will begin at 10 a.m. MT on Thursday. The SuperDraft consists of four rounds this year, with the first two rounds held Thursday in Philly and rounds three and four held next Tuesday via conference call.
Real Salt Lake has one pick on Thursday, with the Claret-and-Cobalt holding the 18th overall selection in the first round. RSL does not currently have a second round selection, but the team does have a pick in both the third and fourth rounds, owning the 53rd and 70th overall selections.
Make sure you tune-in to the SuperDraft on ESPNews on Thursday morning – and look for Dunny!
U.S. Soccer recently sat down with RSL’s Luis Gil, Colorado’s Shane O’Neill and Seattle’s Deandre Yedlin at the USMNT’s training camp, talking to the three former U-20 teammates about their experiences at their first senior camp.
Check out the video above to hear the 20-year-old Gil’s thoughts on being with the senior team. Sounds like Luis’s experience has been a positive one so far.
Gil, O’Neill, Yedlin, RSL’s Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando and the rest of the national team left Southern California on Sunday, heading to Sao Paulo, Brazil for a 12-day training camp at the site of this summer’s World Cup. The 26-man USMNT roster will return to California later this month, wrapping camp with a Feb. 1 friendly against South Korea. Gil, Beckerman and Rimando will join RSL’s preseason camp following the Feb. 1 match at StubHub Center.
U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced on Sunday that all 26 players in the USMNT's annual January camp will travel to Brazil for 12 days of training in a "dry run" for this summer's World Cup.
RSL's Kyle Beckerman, Luis Gil and Nick Rimando will all travel to Brazil with the USMNT. Klinsmann initially planned to trim the roster to 23 players for the trip to Brazil, but an excellent week of training determined the entire 26-man group would travel.
"We have been extremely pleased with the performance of the group in the first week," Klinsmann said on USsoccer.com. "The players came in very fit and have done really well in training. Therefore, we believe they have all earned a chance to go to Brazil for these next 12 days. We are excited about getting down to Sao Paulo and continuing the work. This is a huge opportunity to get to know our environment for the World Cup."
Beckerman, Gil, Rimando and the rest of the USMNT will finish off camp on Feb. 1, when they'll take on South Korea at 3 p.m. MT at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. The RSL trio will join the Claret-and-Cobalt for its second leg of preseason in Irvine, Calif. on Feb. 4.
Real Salt Lake General Manager Garth Lagerwey had his weekly interview on ESPN700’s “The Bill & Hans Show” on Wednesday, spending a portion of his interview talking with the guys about RSL’s assistant coaching hires.
Here’s what Lagerwey had to say on the Claret-and-Cobalt’s new assistants Andy Williams, Daryl Shore, Paul Dalglish and Craig Waibel. Check out Garth’s entire interview here.
On RSL’s new assistant coaches:
“I’m really excited about them, really excited to have Paul and Andy and Craig and Daryl Shore on our team, and really excited to continue the direction that we’ve had and the philosophy that we’ve had as an organization.”
“When looking at the staff as a whole, we were really trying to get the feeling we had back in 2008. We’re hopeful that we’ve done that and we’re excited to get to work with all these guys.”
On Andy Williams:
“Andy has done a great job for us as our head scout over the last couple of seasons, but he really wanted to try and join the coaching staff full-time, so we promoted him. We expect him to do a great job with the young players in [the midfield] position, specifically Luis Gil and Sebastian Velasquez while still being able to relate to the veterans he played with in Kyle, Ned and Javi.
On Daryl Shore:
"With Daryl, he’s a guy with 10 years of experience in the league, he has head coaching experience – which I think was important to Jeff as a new head coach – and he’s someone that’s trained a number of MLS All-Stars and MLS Goalkeepers of the Year in his previous stint.”
On Paul Dalglish:
“Paul’s a guy who has an incredible pedigree. He was Coach of the Year in the PDL last year, played for the Houston Dynamo and won a couple of MLS Cups there, [has head coaching experience], and is a very experienced guy, who’s been involved with youth development. Those were things that we wanted to have across all of the candidates.
On Craig Waibel:
“Craig Waibel was a longtime defender in the league, he won four titles and the staff as a whole has now won eight titles total. That was something we cared about, having a coach for each position was something we cared about, we wanted coaches with experience developing young players, and we wanted coaches with head coaching experience, and we’ve got all of that.”
Real Salt Lake announced on Tuesday night that longtime Head Coach Jason Kreis will not return to the club next season, leaving to take over New York City FC, which will enter MLS as an expansion club in 2015.
Media spoke to several RSL players at the Claret-and-Cobalt’s final availability of the season on Monday night, asking Kyle Beckerman, Tony Beltran and Chris Wingert what it’d be like if Kreis did indeed leave RSL.
All three gave really solid perspective on the situation, offering Kreis well-wishes while emphasizing that the team isn’t going anywhere. With or without Kreis, RSL still has a ton of talent and the team expects to contend for championships again in 2014.
Check out video of their answers above, and a transcript of their quotes below.
To borrow a phrase from Kries, Onwards and Upwards, #RSLFamily.
Captain Kyle Beckerman:
“He’s put in a foundation that we stand for next year and the year after that. It’s just the evolution of that. He’s part of the fabric of this club no matter where he is. I think we’ll continue where he left off, we’ll keep building and keep improving. That’s all we can do. We wish him the best, and really we want to just continue where we left off this year.”
Defender Tony Beltran
“It’s the end of an era of Jason building this club into something grand. It started with Mr. Checketts and Jason and [GM Garth Lagerwey] and they’ve done a fantastic job of shaping this into one of the most elite clubs in the league. That continues now with Mr. Hansen and that may continue forward now without Jason. If that happens we wish him all the luck in the world. He’s a fantastic man, a fantastic leader and that’s what happens with great men, they want new challenges and when presented with that opportunity I imagine that he may take it. If that does happen obviously we’ll be sad to see him go, but we’ll have to look at it as a new challenge ourselves. No longer will we have Jason leading us, I’m sure we’ll have another great man leading us, but it’s up to the players to now live up to things and say ‘Not everything’s just because of him, even though Jay may not be here we can still achieve and we can still do something special.’ That’s what he taught us, and that’s what were here to do.”
Defender Chris Wingert
“Out of respect to him and what he’s meant to this club, it’s going to be very different if he leaves. But does that mean that we can’t still win a championship? No, I think we have a great group here. Of course, anytime you lose a piece of the puzzle that’s that important, it’s going to be hard to replace. The new replacement isn’t going to be the same, but it can still be successful and we saw that from losing some guys last year that we didn’t want to lose. Nobody, none of the players or the staff, wanted to lose guys like [Jamison] Olave and Will Johnson and [Fabian] Espindola, guys of this caliber that meant so much to the organization. But, as you could see, we’re still capable of having a good team. We don’t want Jason to leave, but if he does we’ll be rooting for him elsewhere and happy for him that he’s making the best decision for him and his family.”
Real Salt Lake lost MLS Cup 2013 in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday, falling 1-1 (6-7) at Sporting Kansas City in a penalty kick shootout.
Here are a few interesting numbers from Saturday’s match
The shootout between RSL and Sporting KC went 10 rounds on Saturday, an MLS Cup record.
Real Salt Lake hit the woodwork a MLS Cup record three times in the run of play on Saturday, with Robbie Findley, Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales all hitting the woodwork during regulation. Counting Lovel Palmer’s penalty kick that bounced off the crossbar and out in the 10th round of the shootout, Real Salt Lake hit the woodwork four times on Saturday.
The temperature at kickoff at Sporting Park on Saturday was just 20 degrees Fahrenheit, another MLS Cup record.
Sporting Park was sold-out on Saturday, with 21,650 fans filling the stadium to capacity. The Real Salt Lake fans in attendance – the club’s entire 1,000 ticket allotment was sold and hundreds more RSL supporters bought tickets on the secondary market – was incredible throughout the match, singing and chanting through the cold, at times outshining the much larger contingent of SKC fans.
Saturday's MLS Cup loss at Sporting KC is still raw, and it still hurts. But RSL had plenty of great moments this season - one of which was forward Alvaro Saborio's opening goal on Saturday.
MLSsoccer.com did a very cool re-package of Sabo's strike, slowing it down and showing it from multiple angles. Give it a watch above.