We're starting a lot of fresh, young players
Of Real Monarchs' lineup, eight players were playing their first-ever professional game. That's really remarkable, but it does mean that there is a reasonably steep learning curve ahead of the team. How they fare with that is up to them, but there's every reason to suspect they'll do just fine.
For some of those players who were playing their first professional game, it didn't seem like it. Fito Ovalle hadn't played a pro competitive match, but he's been playing at a high level for some time. Sebastian Saucedo only officially joined RSL's roster at the start of the year, but he's been training with the team for longer than that.
A handful of those players are even first-teamers — Ovalle, Saucedo, Phanuel Kavita and Boyd Okwuonu are all first-year professionals.
We're still learning the system
Just as the first team has struggled and probably will continue to struggle to really get things going with the new formation, so too have the Monarchs — and that's not a surprise. It's a good, natural formation for a number of these guys, but it'll take time to figure out space, movement, opportunities and defensive shape.
When that's all figured out, the system can start to tick and flow and move properly, but until then, there will be some hard times. This is expected of any team transitioning, but also any new team, giving us two problems with which to contend.
USL will be buckets of fun, probably
Even though this match ended 0-0 and was a little on the boring side, there was attacking action galore. That, combined with shots ripped from distance and some somewhat insane defending leaves us with something that should be, at the very least, a fun spectacle. But as we watch these players develop — and truly develop, not just get a glance every other month or something — we'll have a new type of fun. (Which makes me sound like I'm about to give you a chore or something, but I promise that's not the case.)
But really, some of these players will grow into first-team players, and others still might be national team regulars in their careers. We finally get to watch that transition.