With the Monarchs season now officially kicked off there’s lots to be excited about for the 2nd year USL team. Ending last season on a 5 game unbeaten streak and starting off 2016 with a very emotional victory, things seem to be moving in the right direction. Freddy Juarez and the staff have assembled an interesting group of players with different backgrounds and levels of professional experience and yet it is all coming together quite nicely.
We wanted to focus on a couple of players to keep an eye on as the season progresses for Monarchs. Three players who have been really intriguing in this very, very short season are Andrew Brody, Alec Sundly, and Maikon Orellana.
Officially signing with Monarchs just this January, Andrew Brody is in his first year as a professional soccer player. A product of the RSL academy in AZ, Brody has been on a lot of RSL fans radars for some time now. After finishing his time in Casa Grande he moved on to play for Louisville skipping his last year of eligibility to start his professional career with RSL.
He was named one of the top Young Players to Watch by Top Drawer Soccer and with good reason. Brody has the potential to be a first team player for RSL in the next few years as a dynamic wide midfielder. With the move to the 4-3-3 a player like Brody makes a lot of sense for RSL, and his value could be seen in the Monarchs first game of this season. His positioning was smart and his movement timely, and a few of the crosses/passes he played in from wide positions were spectacular. That kind of play and player could prove very useful for Monarchs now and RSL in the future.
A returning player, and at times a captain for Monarchs, Sundly could very well have a break out year this year. The former New England draft pick is in his 3rd professional season and has been noted as one of the players that could make the move to the senior roster, and who would do well there. A central midfielder who likes to play with an attacking mindset, his presence was felt last year after coming back from a stint of injuries early on.
In the season opener Sundly came on in the second half and immediately made a difference in the match. With a full year ahead of him, and hopefully less injuries (knock on wood), we could really see him shine on what looks to be a very good Monarchs team.
Hailing from Provo and a standout product of the RSL Academy in AZ, Orellana landed at Monarchs in a rather roundabout way. After graduating from the academy in 2012 he joined Brondby FC in Denmark rather than continuing on with RSL. In hindsight that may have been a really good decision. During those years time on the field for players like Orellana was hard to come by. The reserve league was essentially a failure at the time, and Maikon would have struggled to see time as a very young and inexperienced professional.
After spending time with Brondy and Alianza (El Salvador), during which he earned a cap with the full El Salvadoran national team, Orellana has found his way back to RSL in 2015. A forward with a lot of potential, there is hope that he can find the back of the net more consistently this year and really leave his mark. So far, with the game winning goal in the season opener, he’s off to a flying start. A very dynamic and aggressive player, his style of play on the wing for RSL could be very advantageous.
Sundly and Orellana should see time this Saturday at Rio Tinto stadium against LA Galaxy II, while Andrew Brody has been called up to Real Salt Lake, as Monarchs look to continue the roll that they have been on since late last season.