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28 January 4:27 pm

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Real Salt Lake had a bit of a lighter day on Tuesday, with Head Coach Jeff Cassar only putting the team through one training session after two-straight double days.

The Claret-and-Cobalt wrapped its training session a little bit before noon, with most of the team then progressing to extra work out on the field with their individual position groups or inside in the gym. The team then had the afternoon off, with several players heading to the movies, some hitting the driving range here at Grande Sports World, and others staying in and relaxing in their rooms.

We’ll have footage of small-sided games and shooting drills from Tuesday’s practice on the site later today. RSL will get back to work on Wednesday, when they’ll take on the RSL-Arizona Academy U-18’s at 11:00 a.m. MT at Grande Sports World. The match is open to the public and free to attend. 

 

27 January 2:34 pm

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Real Salt Lake will play its first match of the 2014 preseason on Wednesday, taking on the RSL-Arizona Academy U-18’s at 11:00 a.m. MT at Grande Sports World.

Expect RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar to run out a slew of players during the match; he’ll want to get a look at the Claret-and-Cobalt’s newcomers and youngsters, along with giving some time to some of the team’s older hands. Oh, and please don’t read anything into the eventual result. It’s just preseason, and any games – at least at this stage – are primarily training exercises.

RSL is in the midst of its second-straight double day, with one session in the books and another set for this afternoon. The Claret-and-Cobalt will get a well-deserved breather from two-a-days on Tuesday, when they'll only have one training session.

We’ll have a full match report, highlights and photos from the game on RealSaltLake.com on Wednesday. You can find all of our preseason coverage – including an up-to-date roster and schedule, as well as all of our written and video coverage – in RSL’s Preseason Central.

26 January 3:30 pm

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. - The Day One excitement has worn off, the boots are starting to get worn in, and things are getting serious. Welcome to preseason in Casa Grande.

Real Salt Lake is in the midst of its first double day, currently in between sessions here at Grande Sports World. This morning’s practice was strenuous, with Head Coach Jeff Cassar emphasizing defensive responsibilities and tactical shape for about an hour before breaking up the squad for fitness testing.

RSL Strength and Conditioning Coach Dan Barlow divided the group by position for fitness testing, putting the team through a timed long-distance course. Defender Nat Borchers set the pace for the squad, burning through the two-kilometer track ahead of the rest of the team. Tony Beltran, Sebastian Velasquez, Jordan Allen, Olmes Garcia and Jeff Attinella also showed well.

The team will be back at it this afternoon, with Head Coach Jeff Cassar set to put the Claret-and-Cobalt through the second practice of the day at 4 p.m. MT.

 

25 January 8:57 pm

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. - Real Salt Lake’s Jeff Cassar ran his first training session as Claret-and-Cobalt head coach on Saturday night, putting the team through its opening practice of 2014 with a light session at the RSL-Arizona Academy in Casa Grande, Ariz.

“It feels awesome, it really does,” Cassar said of getting his first practice under his belt. “Just to see the guys having fun, touching the ball, seeing smiles on their faces, that was the goal of this first session. Tomorrow it’ll get tough.”  

RSL arrived in Casa Grande on Saturday afternoon, settling in here at Grande Sports World before kicking it around for about 90 minutes in the evening. The team will be back at it on Sunday with a double session.

 

23 January 1:45 pm

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando (@NickRimando) took over @ussoccer earlier on Thursday, answering fan questions for a few minutes from USMNT camp in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Check out a few highlights of Rimando’s Twitter takeover below:

Here's our personal favorite: 

Yes, Nick, you're still on the team. Can't wait to have you back in RSL camp once your USMNT stint wraps up. 

 

20 January 11:19 am

RSL midfielder Sebastian Velasquez made a big change late last week, breaking our hearts by cutting his signature rattail last Thursday

 

 

Velasquez has had a wild ‘do since being drafted by RSL in 2012, with his trademark bleached Mohawk/rattail combo earning plenty of love – and a little consternation – across the Wasatch Front. His hair even earned him a nickname among the RSL faithful, with fans dubbing him Rufio in honor of a look-alike character from the early-90’s movie Hook.

Here’s another peek at Velasquez’s new look:

 

 

We’ll talk to Seba – and his teammates – about rattail-gate when preseason opens later this week. Stay tuned...

 

20 January 10:55 am

Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar stopped by ABC 4's Real Sports Live on Sunday night, sitting down with ABC 4's Wesley Ruff for an interview. 

Cassar and Ruff rapped for a few minutes, with RSL's new boss chatting about his hiring process, his desired style of play, his initial thoughts on the job and a few of his favorite things. Check out the full interview up above. 

RSL's commentary team of Bill Riley and Brian Dunseth also chatted about RSL, breaking down a few things ahead of the team opening preseason camp on Saturday. Give their segment a watch here

16 January 4:54 pm

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.

 

16 January 2:43 pm

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.)