The first match of the inaugural Wasatch Winter Cup will start at 3 PM tomorrow afternoon at Zions Bank Real Academy as the Monarchs switch their preseason schedule into full gear. This all-USL Championship preseason tournament will feature three matches where Real Monarchs SLC, Reno 1868 FC, and Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC each face the other two teams.
After tomorrow’s opening match against Reno 1868, the home side will face Utah Valley University on the same day as the Reno v. Colorado Springs match on February 18th and then take part in the final tournament match against Colorado Springs on February 21st.
In addition, the Monarchs have continued to fill out the 2019 squad with a number of recent signings.
Todd Morton and Ethan Finney have both been signed to fill in the previously empty goalkeeping portion of the roster. Both have exhausted their college eligibility and had previously worked out with the Monarchs during their summers away from college. Morton, who spent his last three years at the University of Delaware, has consistently been ranked among the top five college goalkeepers for his year. Finney, who spent all four years at Penn State, made a total of 100 saves during his college career.
GM Dan Egner adds: “Evan and Todd both came in this preseason fighting for a spot on this team. After everyone on the staff had a chance to watch them in training for an extended period, we collectively made the decision that they both deserved a spot with the Monarchs for 2019. They are both young and hungry, which is exactly what we were looking for. They will continue to develop their craft with us, and we fully expect them to push each other while being positive influences on the entire group.”
19 year-old Midfielder Luis Palma has also joined the Monarchs on a season long loan from C.D.S. Vida in Honduras where he played with Douglas Martinez, another of the Monarchs 2019 signings. Like the 21 year-old Martinez, Palma is a Honduran Youth International where he most recently participated in the 2018 U20 CONCACAF championship last fall.
“Although he just turned 19, Luis has extensive experience with numerous Honduras youth national teams,” Egner said. “He’s no stranger to the professional game either, and we believe his transition to Monarchs and the U.S. will be seamless. He’s a technical player who will fit in nicely with the pieces currently in place, and he will be a big part of what we do in the final third.”
And finally earlier today, the Monarchs announced the signing of two more RSL Academy players who had been working with the team under the direction of new Head Coach Martín Vásquez this preseason. Midfielder Jordan Pena had made 13 starts for the U19 academy squad this season to cap off his 4 years with the academy. Defender Steve Jasso was also a regular on the U19 and has become a backbone of the defensive line since joining the academy in 2016.
RSL Assistant General Manager Elliot Fall characterized these signings as follows: “This is another step in establishing a professional pathway for our Academy players. Steve and Jordan are two players that have proven their ability at the Academy and have earned the opportunity to take the next step at a professional level.”
With these signings the 2019 Monarchs roster now stands at 19 players as follows:
Goalkeepers: Todd Morton, Ethan Finney (2)
Defenders: Andrew Brody, James Moberg, Stanley Okumu, Konrad Plewa, Kalen Ryden, Noah Powder, Steve Jasso (7)
Midfielders: Jack Blake, Maikel Chang, Josh Heard, Masta Kacher, Justin Portillo, Damian German, Ricardo Ávila, Luis Palma, Jordan Pena (9)
Forwards: Lionel Abate Eoundi, Douglas Martínez (2)