With preseason at a close, several Real Salt Lake players can be said to have impressed during the preparatory period.
Some of those players were here and simply didn't have many chances to impress.
John Stertzer is perhaps chief among those, given he was out for nearly the entire season after suffering a shoulder injury in a reserves outing. His preseason showed him to be a capable midfielder that fits very well on the side of the diamond, with his connective play a particular highlight. After being named one of the most professional-ready players in the 2013 draft, he looks set to show that potential soon.
Luke Mulholland has been particularly well-regarded, and as he came in with few expectations from fans, he is one of the biggest surprises of the off-season. Although he excelled with Tampa Bay Rowdies, the jump from NASL to MLS can be a difficult, uncertain one. While that uncertainty hasn't ended, it's been abated by his strong preseason. As another central midfielder, he's differentiated himself with excellent set piece efficiency, particular during RSL's 3-1 win over FC Tucson. All expectations seem to be that he'll feature in Real Salt Lake's 18-man squad with regularity.
Jordan Allen showed youthful exuberance and some innate ability in different areas of the pitch. That's a difficult feat, particularly for a youngster, but that he looked effective each time speaks highest of his potential. He'll be an important player for us in the next few years, but most importantly, he showed he could reach that now.
Kyle Beckerman offered no surprises, but he was his usual in-form self - this, considering he really hasn't had much break to speak of, and came into preseason late, bodes well for our season. When our captain plays well, the team plays well.