Real Salt Lake’s history of developing young professionals is certainly one that’s growing — and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.
With Jose Hernandez joining the club out of college this year, and with Real Monarchs certainly looking to stock up a bit, RSL could certainly be looking for a boost from graduates of their prestigious RSL-AZ program in Casa Grande, Arizona.
Here are five players the club might take a look at in the coming year.
Riggs Lennon, senior Creighton forward (prev. Virginia)
The brother of RSL’s Brooks Lennon, Riggs Lennon hasn’t had quite the same level of hype around him — but he’s still been an interesting prospect. He played at Virginia in 2013, 2014 and 2015, where he showed a lot of promise early on before trailing off.
In 2016, Lennon moved to Creighton, where he got right back on the scoresheet with 10 over a season. That doesn’t mean he’s ready for a move up, but certainly, he’d be an interesting option for Real Monarchs.
Ive Burnett, senior South Carolina defender
Having graduated from University of South Carolina, Burnett played nearly every match available to him as a left back. There’s no indication as to what he’s doing post-college, but if he’s looking to get into the professional game, his college pedigree should be enough to earn him an opportunity with the Monarchs.
Corey Baird, junior Stanford midfielder
Having already made appearances with the U.S. U-20 team — practically a necessary part of top-level development in the country — Corey Baird is almost certainly on the radar of Real Salt Lake’s youth development organization. Vitally, he scored in penalties during Stanford’s second-straight College Cup championship.
Amar Sejdic, sophomore Maryland midfielder
Watch a few minutes of highlights of the Bosnian-American Amar Sejdic, and you’ll start to understand why exactly he’s been getting hype at the college level. He scores perfect goals, he’s got a great eye for a pass, and he earns consistent praise from the writers at TopDrawerSoccer. Seriously. Look this kid up.
Erik Holt, sophomore UCLA defender
We’ve talked a lot about UCLA across American soccer this year, and that’s because they’ve been churning out some great players, including first pick overall Abu Danladi, sixth-overall Jackson Yueill, and RSL’s Jose Hernandez. Those are just players who signed this offseason. Of course, that doesn’t make Holt a must-have, but it’s worth considering that behind every great team, there are great defenders. Holt’s played very regularly, and that could bode well for his professional options.