Blog

Preseason

05 February 11:07 am

MLSsoccer.com’s Dan Itel wrote up a nice piece on Tuesday on U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s comments on RSL midfielder Luis Gil and fellow 20-year-old national teamer, Seattle Sounders FC defender Deandre Yedlin.

Klinsmann had plenty of complimentary things to say about Gil and Yedlin, both of whom participated in the USMNT’s January camp and registered their first senior caps as substitutes in Saturday’s 2-0 friendly win over Korea Republic at StubHub Center.

Klinsmann’s main message? While they’re promising prospects, both Gil and Yedlin still have plenty of work to do to become mainstays with the senior national team.

“I think both youngsters … did well in this first introduction to the senior national team,” Klinsmann said. “That’s why we gave them also their first cap, their first couple of minutes on the field with the so-called older guys. They have a lot of talent, there’s no doubt about it.”

“It’s really important that they stay with their feet on the ground, stay modest,” he continued. “Yes, be proud of that moment, it’s a special moment when you play your first cap, but this is hopefully just the beginning of a very, very good career.”

Klinsmann also pushed for them to take more responsibility with their club teams, a notion Gil discussed with reporters at RSL’s Media Day on Tuesday.

“We need them now to push the envelope with their MLS teams,” he said. “We need them to understand that there’s more responsibility on their shoulders as a senior national team player.”

We’ll have more from Gil on his time with the USMNT and his first cap later on Wednesday. Stay tuned. 

 

04 February 4:13 pm

Real Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley was able to provide a brief update on his recovery from knee surgery during RSL’s media day on Tuesday. Findley underwent surgery in December to repair a torn right patella tendon caused by general wear-and-tear after being in season continuously from July 2012-December 2013.
 
RealSaltLake.com: How do you feel almost a month after your surgery?
 
Findley: “It feels good. It’s about seven weeks out now. I got out of the brace last Friday so I’m getting more range in it and starting to feel stronger. I’m heading in the right direction.”
 
RealSaltLake.com: How does the rest of the recovery process look?
 
Findley: “It will still be a while until I get out on the field. I just want to make sure everything is settled in there and that it’s strong enough to be able to go out on the field and be able to do the things that I need to do.”
 
RealSaltLake.com: When do you hope to get back out on the field?
 
Findley: “Maybe around April I’ll be ready to get out and play. We’ll see if everything goes according to plan. Hopefully, it won’t go further than that.”
 
RealSaltLake.com: How did the surgery affect your offseason plans?
 
Findley: “I was able to go home to Arizona and work out at Athlete’s Performance – a rehab program – which I’ve been to a couple of times before and I like what they do. So I was able to get some rehab in and see some family at the same time which was good.”
 
Let’s hope Findley’s recovery process continues to go well and that he’ll be able to return to the Claret-and-Cobalt lineup as soon as possible.

 

04 February 10:05 am

Real Salt Lake defender Nat Borchers made his weekly appearance on ESPN700’s The Bill and Hans Show on Monday, giving a bit of a Super Bowl post-mortem – unfortunately for Nat, he’s a big Broncos fan – and assessing the Claret-and-Cobalt’s first week of preseason training.

As always, Nat gave an interesting interview, with his most prescient moment coming in his analysis of new RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar. Here’s what Borchers had to say about the Claret-and-Cobalt’s new boss:

“It was a great first week of training,” Borchers said. “I think everybody had uncertainties with how Jeff was going to run things and how we would mesh and vibe with the new coaching staff, but it’s been fantastic so far. Jeff’s been very organized, he’s ran some really good training sessions and he’s getting his ideas implemented slowly but surely. We’re getting our base level of fitness going right now, and we’re just going to get better as the weeks go on. I’ve really been impressed with Jeff and his staff, and I’m really excited about this season.”

Borchers and the rest of his Real Salt Lake teammates will be at Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday for the team’s annual Media Day. The squad will leave Salt Lake on Tuesday night, departing for Irvine, Calif. for a 10-day training camp at the University of California-Irvine.

Listen to Borchers’ entire interview here.

 

01 February 1:55 pm

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Real Salt Lake finished up its first leg of preseason training on Saturday, playing a 60-minute intra-squad match at Grande Sports World before leaving the home of the RSL-Arizona Academy for the Phoenix airport and, eventually, Salt Lake City.

RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar split the Claret-and-Cobalt into two squads for the match, putting most of RSL’s available regulars on the White team and putting Real Salt Lake’s reserves and some Academy players on the blue team. The Blue team won the match, taking the lead about halfway through the first half when defender Aaron Maund slotted home a penalty kick. Forward Olmes Garcia – who was one of several players to switch sides in the second half – earned the PK when he was brought down in the box.

The White team controlled the rest of the game, holding the majority of possession and creating numerous chances. They weren’t able to find a finish however, with goalkeeper Jeff Attinella turning in a fine performance – which included a save on a Javier Morales PK, again earned by Garcia – to keep the clean sheet.

Real Salt Lake will arrive back in Salt Lake City on Saturday afternoon, remaining in the Beehive State until Tuesday, when the Claret-and-Cobalt will head to Irvine, Calif. for its second of three preseason training camps. 

 

31 January 1:34 pm

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Real Salt Lake is closing out its week in Casa Grande, with the team scheduled to depart the home of the RSL-Arizona Academy after one final training session on Saturday.

RSL had one training session on Friday, with Head Coach Jeff Cassar putting the team through one of the more strenuous sessions of the week this morning. The Claret-and-Cobalt has the rest of the afternoon off ahead of Saturday’s final session in Casa Grande, which will feature an 11-on-11 intra-squad scrimmage.

We’ll have a report of Saturday’s intra-squad game following the match. RSL will return to Salt Lake City after the match, staying in the Beehive State for three days before heading to Irvine, Calif. for the second leg of preseason on Tuesday. 

 

28 January 3:27 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 1:34 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 2:30 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 7:57 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.