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Monarchs make nod to the Welsh with two new signings for the 2018 season

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Midfielder Josh Heard and Defender Rhys Williams bring the 2018 roster to 17 as preseason continues

Courtesy Philadelphia Union and We are One newsletter

Real Monarchs SLC added a distinctly Welsh flavor to their 2018 squad with the signing of attacking midfielder Josh Heard and defender Rhys Williams on Friday. Both players have been with the team through out pre-season and were rewarded with contracts for the 2018 USL season.

Josh continues the links to the University of Washington soccer program playing alongside his new Monarch teammates Michael Gallagher and James Moberg. Although born in Cardiff, Wales, Josh Heard moved with his family to Victoria, British Columbia, at the age of three. At Washington, the Canadian national started 50 of his 74 career games and tallied 13 goals and eight assists in his his three years as a starter.

After his senior year, Heard was drafted #71 overall in the fourth round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft by Vancouver Whitecaps FC, but went unsigned and joined Bethlehem Steel FC in the Eastern Conference of USL instead. In his two years with Bethlehem, Josh made 38 appearances with 11 starts and featured primarily as a defensive substitute.

Josh scored a nice goal during the scrimmage against Real Salt Lake Academy earlier this week and is quoted as saying: “I’m really excited to get started and I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to play for such a great club... (to be) in the USL for two years now and land at a club that has this staff, these facilities and a great group of players is amazing.”

Florida native Rhys Williams spent the 2017 season as a regular starter with the New York Cosmos B in the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) where he tallied three goals and registered four assists while playing primarily at right back. While a member of the Columbia University Lions from 2013 to 2016, Rhys appeared in 35 matches as a defensive midfielder and right back. Williams scored a total of seven goals while assisting five times in his college career.

Rhys agreed with Josh Heard in saying: “It feels great to sign with this club. This is probably the best group of guys I’ve ever played with and everyone from the players to the staff have treated me like family in my short time here.”

With these signing the Real Monarchs SLC roster climbs up to 17 players as follows:

Goalkeepers: (2) Andrew Putna, Jake Leeker

Defenders: (4) Michael Gallagher, David Diosa, Konrad Plewa, Rhys Williams

Midfielders: (8) Charlie Adams, James Moberg, Karsten Hanlin, Sebastian Velasquez, Justin Portillo, Maikel Chang, Masta Kacher, Josh Heard

Forwards: (3) Chandler Hoffman, Juan Ignacio Mare, Andrew Brody

Alexis Canalas and Lyes Mezine from the U-19 academy team also continue to participate in preseason training as invitees.