By NICHOLAS MURRAY – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Preseason for Real Monarchs SLC is looking a lot different as the club enters its second season in the USL.
For one, there’s a core of players returning from the club’s first year, which has given Coach Freddy Juarez a strong platform to build on after the side came together strongly at the end of the 2015 season with five consecutive victories.
Then, there’s a trip to Costa Rica for the players in camp to look forward to, as the side looks to bond on and off the field with two months to go before the start of the new season.
“They were buzzing,” Juarez told RealSaltLake.com’s Cobalt Daily on Friday. “They’re happy, they’re energetic, already amongst themselves they’ve had some meetings on their own. We’ve had some meetings. We’re really focusing in this first part since they got here on the defending, and we’ll probably do that for a few more days. When we get to Costa Rica I think we’ll do the attacking phase of our preseason. We’re just taking care of the details.”
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The Monarchs have also had their first success story emerge, with Emery Welshman being officially added to the RSL roster on Friday to become the first player to move up to Major League Soccer from the side. According to Juarez, Welshman’s progression is indicative of the vision within the organization that has begun at the top with Owner Dell Loy Hansen.
“I’ve been preaching to the kids what Mr. Hansen is preaching,” Juarez said. “Club is new to the United States. Everyone has always been team, team, team, where everywhere else in the world, it’s the club. Your club is your U8s all the way through your first team, and the first team is the priority, which is the case here, but for us it was just another player in the pool that we’re happy that we got to help in his development. We didn’t develop him the whole way through. He’s had great coaching leading in, but this club gave him a chance to rejuvenate his career again.
“He did well. He bought into it. The teammates he had around him made him better. It was a good training environment, and from the vision that Mr. Hansen and [RSL Technical Director] Craig [Waibel] and [VP of Soccer Administration] Rob Zarkos have for this group, that’s our job at the Monarchs. Help the players from the first team that need to get some minutes, and help the talented young guys who have the potential, that we help them fulfill that potential and push them up. It’s nothing but love from all of the guys that played all year for him, and we’re rooting him on.”
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The Monarchs will leave soon for Costa Rica, and have set up some contests that will help sharpen the team as it looks ahead to its season. Juarez said getting the chance to go overseas this preseason will offer a lot to the coaching staff and the players as they look to find the type of bonds that are typical of championship sides.
“When you talk about teams, there’s a bunch of different parts of it,” Juarez said. “We’re obviously doing the soccer, and you go and take the soccer part and you go and train and really isolate them so the concentration is there from the players. You go and play a different culture’s soccer, a different climate.“The other part of is you’re challenging them. You’re challenging them mentally more, taking them away from a comfort zone. You’re challenging them by the environment you’re putting them in. We hope the soccer fields are great. If they’re not you have to deal with that. You have to deal with different competition, a different style of play that we’re used to in the league, but more importantly the group is together. There’s a camaraderie. They get to know each other inside and out, and it’s super-important. When you listen to any championship team, you hear about how it was a family, how they fought for one another, and that’s what you hope to do when you go into these preseasons.”