Real Monarchs players will take center stage on Wednesday as Real Salt Lake takes on USL side Sacramento Republic in US Open Cup play.
There’s not much doubt there now, given RSL coach Mike Petke has said he’ll be bringing some players up for the game. That won’t be Chandler Hoffman or Sebastian Velasquez, given both are too old, but there’s certainly a very strong chance some other players could see minutes.
Who, though? Here are five players we could see.
He only just scored his first goal of 2017, but Andrew Brody has been a mainstay for the winningest side in USL, and he hasn’t looked out of place in the process. Brody is a quick winger with a good cross, and he’s been showing that since his RSL Academy days.
Let’s have a quick sidebar here: I remember something like five years ago, Jake Simons (you’ll know him from here and The RSL Show) and I were watching an RSL reserve match at America First Field. You know, back in the day when you watched from the side of the field, and occasionally, you’d see a player try to fight somebody in the crown. (I think it was Giles Barnes I saw have words with a fan back when he was with Houston Dynamo. It must have been his first year in the league.) Andrew Brody played that day, and we talked about how we didn’t think he had much of a chance of making it at RSL for the simple fact that Jason Kreis didn’t really play with wide players, and we both anticipated Kreis would be around for a long, long time. It’s funny how quickly things change.
Yeah, yeah, he has a brother in MLS. We’ve gone over it, but thanks. Nick Besler has been a regular feature in Real Monarchs’ midfield, and he’s playing more or less in a defensive midfield role. The start to his season might have been a little rough, but he’s really slotted in nicely.
One of the faster wide players on the team, Haber is also one of the most experienced players for the Monarchs. From 2013 to 2016, he registered nearly 75 matches for Israeli and Cypriot sides after attending — of all places — Cornell. (Imagine being faced with the choices there. He left before his senior year at any Ivy League school to play in Israel. We really should get him to tell his story here.)
He’s only 23, and he’s definitely not related to Scottish midfielder Charlie Adam, but you really should be paying attention to Charlie Adams anyway. He’s displayed a real knack for swinging a free kick into the box, and he’s earned five assists for his troubles. He reminds me a lot of Luke Mulholland, but he doesn’t have quite the same engine, and he’s much better on set pieces. But they are both English, and they both took a path less traveled and went through USL. We’ll see if Adams makes it to the first team.
Also, don’t call him Charles. He seems to hate that. (And maybe don’t call him Chuck. He’s not Charlie Brown, you know.)
One of RSL’s 2016 draft picks, Max Lachowecki has been with Real Monarchs since. He’s averaging 40.9 passes per 90 minutes this year, placing him just behind Besler in the passing charts. That’s pretty remarkable for a USL left back. He’s got a good engine, a good eye for one-on-one defending, and a reasonable chance to make it up to Real Salt Lake one of these days.