Real Monarchs may have completed their first official signing with Coco Navarro, former Real Salt Lake-Arizona academy star and Marquette forward.
The news is being reported by Marquette media, including SB Nation site Anonymous Eagle. Confirmation was not immediately available from Real Salt Lake communications but is being sought.
The acquisition of Navarro was first reported by his coach at Marquette, Louis Bennett. Navarro, 19, played for three years at the RSL academy before joining Marquette, where, in 2013, he scored an extra-time game-winner in the school's first-ever win in the NCAA tournament.
While at Marquette, Navarro scored three goals and had five assists in his rookie year, with his sophomore year seeing a slight decrease in production (two and one last year.) That wasn't necessarily for a lack of shooting, with 34 percent shooting accuracy from 29 shots, giving him an on-target conversion rate of roughly 20 percent. (All this shows that he surely isn't Joao Plata, whose shooting accuracy and conversion rate defies expectation.)
His academy days saw his scoring at a considerably higher rate. In the 2011-12 season, Navarro scored 18 goals — nine more than the next-closest players, Andrew Brody (now at Louisville) and Trevor Hyman (Stanford). In the 2012-13 season, he scored 20 goals, breaking the academy's U-18 record. He scored a remarkable 45 goals across three seasons.
Navarro has been involved regularly with Real Salt Lake's reserves side, so there's nothing too surprising about this move. He once scored against Colorado Rapids, and for you connoisseurs of RSL reserves matches, it's the one where Lalo Fernandez played at forward.
With RSL academy graduates Etiandro Tavares and Ricardo Velazco both involved in Real Salt Lake's preseason camp, and with Real Monarchs in need of a roster, further ex-academy signings are to be expected in the coming weeks.