With day two of preseason in the books, it finally feels like soccer season is back. With today being the first day of preseason that media was allowed to attend, we finally got answers to some of the questions we’ve been asking.
As far as who is in camp, at the moment nearly everyone from Real Salt Lake and Real Monarchs, excluding Yura Movsisyan and Sunny, have reported. Nick Rimando was training again today as well following the announcement of his contract renewal with RSL this morning.
This is the first year RSL will hold their preseason in Zions Bank Real Academy, and the players have nothing but appreciation for the facility. Kyle Beckerman said after training, “It’s beautiful... it’s everything we need.” RSL coach Mike Petke expressed how this new facility means no excuses for anyone. From academy level up, there are no excuses to not put in the work anymore in his eyes.
As we left 2017, Petke stressed how important it was going to be for his players to remain fit during the offseason. He even said they’d running laps if they couldn’t pass fitness tests. He announced in an interview after training that everyone had passed the fitness test they had set for them. “It blew my mind,” Petke said.
Another big talking point at the start of preseason, however, has been the absences in the locker room. It has been known for a while now that forward Yura Movsisyan is unhappy at the club and looking for other options; he has not been training during the preseason.
“We are currently working on a solution that is best for Yura and the club together,” Petke said when asked about Movsisyan’s absence.
One of the biggest shockers coming into this preseason however was that Sunny has yet to report for camp. He is under contract with the team but hasn’t come to either day of preseason. When asked about this situation, he said, “(New England general manager) Mike Burns made a statement from the New England Revolution today; I would just echo what he said.”
All in all, the squad is healthy and ready to go. With Jordan Allen and Chad Barrett doing minimal training to the side because of their injuries, everyone that was healthy at the end of 2017 is still healthy and ready to tackle this preseason.