As Real Monarchs' first game approaches, Real Salt Lake will have their first opportunity to really try out this new reserves system. With a bye week, RSL will certainly be sending some players "on loan" with the Monarchs, and we're picking out five players who could be there to face LA Galaxy II.
This one's pretty obvious. The only real chance at this point for Lalo Fernandez to earn minutes — that isn't reliant on injuries, bad luck for others, and international duty — is with Real Monarchs, and Sunday will give him that chance. Expect him to be a good shot-stopper, but pay attention to how he manages possession and how he handles set pieces. Those are big questions that don't have to be answered now, but we'll start to get a sense of it right now.
He's a center back turned right back — sort of, at least — and his skills are probably more defensive than attacking, albeit with strong short-passing skills. How will he fare in this type of match, where he might be needed more in attack? Can he find his feet?
Young and talented, Ovalle will probably see a start as a defensive midfielder — probably fairly consistently for the Monarchs, too. But with Pecka injured (or perhaps coming back from injury), Kyle Beckerman potentially leaving for international duty, and John Stertzer still recovering from injury, don't be surprised if he makes his first MLS appearance soon.
This kid's going to be something special, but for now, we'll get to watch him with Real Monarchs. He's not only good with his feet, but he's quick, smart, and can score from anywhere. Look for him on either flank against LA Galaxy II.
We just can't stop talking about Jordan Allen, and with good reason. These Monarchs matches will offer an opportunity for him to get full match minutes, which is important — especially because the next few months are likely to see him in more sporadic, late-match appearances.