In the latest sign that the season is just around the corner, the Professional Referees Organization (PRO) released on Tuesday the referee assignments for MLS’s opening weekend.
Real Salt Lake drew Silviu Petrescu for its March 8 opener at LA. Petrescu is an experienced official who was named the 2012 MLS Referee of the Year. He was the man in the middle for several RSL games in 2013, most notably officiating RSL’s 4-3 loss at New York on July 27. Petrescu was very quick to the whistle in that match, calling an astounding 46 total fouls – including a season-high 28 on RSL – and showing seven yellow cards.
Rounding out Petrescu’s March 8 crew are linesmen Daniel Belleau and Phil Briere and fourth official Mathieu Bourdeau.
TUCSON – After taking the day off on Sunday, Real Salt Lake got back to work on Monday, hitting the training fields for another practice session ahead of Wednesday’s Desert Diamond Cup match against FC Tucson.
Monday’s training officially marked the start of the final week of preseason training for the Claret-and-Cobalt, which will return to Utah on Sunday and train in Sandy next week ahead of the March 8 opener at LA. RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar is looking for a few things from the last week of preseason camp, with full match fitness topping the list.
No RSL player has gone 90 minutes yet in the Desert Diamond Cup, with Cassar playing the starters 60 minutes and making mass substitutions at the hour mark in both of the first two DDC games. Expect that to change in the final two games in Tucson.
“In these last two games we’re looking to get closer to 90 minutes for everybody in each game,” Cassar said. “It’s time to start to gear up towards what our lineup will look like against LA.”
RSL will return to action on Wednesday, when the team will take on USL-Premier Development League side FC Tucson at 6:00 p.m. MT in the final group game of the Desert Diamond Cup. Wednesday’s game will be streamed live here on RealSaltLake.com and MLSsoccer.com.
TUCSON – Real Salt Lake on Friday returned to the training field for the first time since Wednesday’s scoreless draw against New England, putting in a two hour training session ahead of Saturday’s FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup match against the Colorado Rapids.
Saturday’s match will be streamed live here on RealSaltLake.com, under the “Match Streams” page in Preseason Central. It will be the first stream of the preseason for the Claret-and-Cobalt, which has a 0-1-3 record so far this preseason.
RSL enters Saturday’s match in a four-way tie for second in the DDC standings with one point. Colorado is in sixth – and last – place in the tournament after losing their opener 2-1 against Chicago on Wednesday. RSL will finish Desert Diamond Cup group play next Wednesday, when they’ll take on USL-Premier Development League side FC Tucson at 6:00 p.m. MT.
The Desert Diamond Cup will conclude next Saturday, with the Championship and Consolation matches. The DDC round-robin stage winner will take on Mexican side Chivas de Guadalajara in the tournament final at 6:00 p.m. MT on Saturday, while the second- and third-place and the fourth- and fifth-place MLS teams will face off earlier in the day.
Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman is currently in New York City as a part of MLS's annual media and marketing tour, making the rounds at a variety of media outlets with other notable players from around the league ahead of the season opening on March 8.
Kyle stopped by Fox Sports 1 earlier on Tuesday, appearing with LA's Omar Gonzalez and Kansas City's Matt Besler on Crowd Goes Wild. Kyle talked a bit about his personal life, changes he's seen in his 15 years in MLS and the U.S. national team's chances at this summer's World Cup. Give the entire segment a watch above.
Real Salt Lake put in its second full training session today in Tucson in RSL’s final preseason camp before the start of the 2014 MLS regular season. The Claret-and-Cobalt welcomed back forward Alvaro Saborio who was absent from yesterday’s session due to an MLS media tour. The squad looked energetic and focused today as Head Coach Jeff Cassar ran 11v11 scrimmages and emphasized tactical awareness.
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – Real Salt Lake won the Generation Adidas Cup Central Region on Monday, with the Claret-and-Cobalt U-17’s defeating the Houston Dynamo U-17’s 4-1 at Grande Sports World in the final match of group play to qualify for the GA Cup’s final stage.
Monday’s win advanced the RSL U-17’s to the final stage of the GA Cup, which will take place in April. The RSL U-17’s will be pitted against two other MLS U-17 teams and a group of international teams in the final stage of the GA Cup.
RSL posted a 4-1-0 record in five GA Cup Central Region group stage matches, finishing atop the group that also featured U-17 squads from the Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City. The Claret-and-Cobalt outscored its opposition 21-7 in the group stage.
RSL got goals from four different players in the win over Houston on Monday. The Claret-and-Cobalt jumped out to an impressive start, with Josh Doughty tapping in a Sebastian Saucedo cross in the 11th minute to give RSL the lead.
RSL doubled their lead in the 50th minute, when Saucedo curled in a low free kick that hit the post and bounced in for his fourth goal in three matches. Doughty notched his fourth assist in three matches when he played to Kris “Haiti” Fourcand in the 72nd-minute. Fourcand then shifted to his right, dribbled into the box and scored RSL’s third goal.
RSL’s backline of: Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Miles Stray and Gavino Carranza along with central midfielder Danny Acosta held the Dynamo attack to a few shots and recorded their first shutout in GA Cup play.
TUCSON - Real Salt Lake officially began its final preseason training stint Monday as the team arrived in Tucson to participate in the 2014 Desert Diamond Cup. This will be RSL’s third-straight appearance in the round-robin tournament. Real Salt Lake will take on the New England Revolution on Feb. 19, Colorado Rapids on Feb. 22 and FC Tucson on Feb. 26. The Championship and Consolation games will be held on March 1.
Real Salt Lake defender Nat Borchers kept busy over the weekend, stopping by Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday to answer a few questions at RSL's Open House before dropping by the ABC 4 studios on Sunday for an interview with Wesley Ruff on Real Sports Live.
Nat and Wes put a bow on the 2013 RSL season and looked forward to 2014, with Nat discussing new Claret-and-Cobalt boss Jeff Cassar and the team's preseason camp. Check out the video above.
Borchers wasn't the only RSL player on Real Sports Live on Sunday night, as fellow defender Chris Wingert appeared on the show to raise awareness for a great cause. We'll have more on Wingert's appearance later on.
RSL is traveling to Tucson today for the upcoming FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup. The Claret-and-Cobalt will kickoff the Desert Diamond Cup on Wednesday, taking on the New England Revolution at 6:00 p.m. MT.
You may or may not know that RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman has the record for most fouls committed in MLS history. So it goes when you're a defensive midfielder who's been in the league going on 15 years.
Turns out, most of Beckerman's MLS colleagues didn't know that KB5 holds that record, either. MLSsoccer.com asked quite a few of them about it, with only four - Seattle Head Coach Sigi Schmid, Kansas City's Matt Besler, D.C.'s Bill Hamid and New England's Andrew Farrell - able to correctly identify Captain Kyle.
Two of the league's biggest villains were among the more popular guesses, with SKC's Aurelien Collin and San Jose's Steven Lenhart getting their names dropped a few times.
Our favorite moment from the video? Vancouver Captain Jay DeMerit's "a foul for every dread" comment.
As told to Ben Wille
- I grew up in Rochester, N.Y. I went down from Rochester to the U.S. U-17 residency program in Florida early in 2011, and coming out of the program I was looking for a place to go so I went to RSL’s Academy down in Casa Grande. I spent a year and a half there, and in that time I played a little bit with the RSL Reserves and met with the coaching staff. And then before joining RSL I spent one semester at the University of Virginia.
- I went to the Academy because I was looking for a place where you can play every single day at a high level and in a good environment – there aren’t a lot of places like that in the U.S. So when I was coming out of residency I was looking for a place that could offer me something like that, and RSL had the only residential academy in the country. So for me it was a no brainer.
- They have a great coaching staff down there at the Academy – Freddy Juarez and Tony Bruce – and they play a good style of football which is the same way we play here. Playing there helped me get stronger and better technically, and it made the transition from playing with them to playing with the Reserves easy for me.
- Though I only signed a month ago, this is actually my third preseason that I’ve gone through with RSL, so I feel very prepared. There weren’t a lot of shocks for me because I knew what to expect. It was important for me to go through those before actually signing so I knew what I was getting into.
- I had a chance to sign with RSL ahead of the 2013 season, but I decided to go to Virginia for a season instead. My parents and I are really into education and Virginia offered me an opportunity to get a great education at a great university. And I’m able to go back there whenever I can or whenever I’m available. It was a big thing for me and my family to make sure I took care of that before I really started to get into my career.
- It was a great experience for me going to UVA – the coaching staff there was great and we made a good run in the College Cup. They [University of Virginia] play a schedule where you play two games a week and it’s a grind for those three months and that helped me prepare for this physically and mentally.
- As for my preferred position, that’s kind of tough – the system we play with is a diamond midfield and we’re really good at it and with that formation there is not as much width coming out of the midfield. I like playing wide so I think in the long run I’ll excel as an outside back here.
- My first goal for this year is to just get myself in that group that is consistently making the 18. If I can make the 18 then I’ll try and make my way into the starting 11. But I’m going to stay grounded and stay realistic. I know I have to work hard just to get into the 18, and there are a lot of good players here so it’s not going to be easy.
- To get away from the game I watch more of the game – I don’t think I really get away from it. If I’m taking a break physically just to get my legs back, I’m probably watching an Arsenal game or googling Arsenal news. So I don’t think I really get away from the game. If I do, I’m usually hanging out with my friends and enjoying my family.
- I just got my first apartment – I’m rooming with [RSL forward] Benji Lopez, who I know from the Academy and the national team. It’s a little bit different out here than it is in Rochester and at the University of Virginia, but I’m looking forward to it out here. I spent three or four weeks here in the summer and liked it. I also found a barber shop out here my first week so that was important.