Striker Tate Schmitt is another homegrown product who RSL signed in the 2018-19 offseason after he spent three years with PDL side FC Tucson where he made 30 appearances and scored 10 goals.
While he only made it onto the field six times for Real Salt Lake — including one start — he, like many of the other younger players on the roster who didn’t play a whole lot for the first team, spent the majority of his time with the Real Monarchs.
Schmitt made 19 appearances (18 starts) for the Monarchs, scoring three goals and notching four assists in 2019. It’s impossible to say definitively whether he’ll see more playing time with the first team in 2020, but chances are next season will be much like last season for Schmitt. With players like Sam Johnson, Corey Baird, and Damir Kreilach who can all start at the top of the attack and sit ahead in the pecking order, it’ll be a relatively tough position for Schmitt to break into.
However, the 22-year-old Phoenix native primarily played in the midfield for the Monarchs last season, further improving his ability to play elsewhere on the field. With players like Joao Plata, Bofo Saucedo, and Brooks Lennon departing the club, there is a chance that Schmitt could see a bit more playing time as a midfielder or winger in the upcoming season.
Obviously we don’t know what Freddy has in store for the team over the next year, but we do know he has a rich history of working with the young academy players and knows their strengths and weaknesses well. Time will tell if Juarez will opt to “play his kids” even more often than we’ve seen in the past, and find a more consistent spot for some of these younger guys who didn’t get much of a chance last season.