Real Salt Lake: How can Salt Lake prepare for two road matches in a row, on polar opposite sides of the country?
It’s not exactly ideal to play in Washington, D.C. one weekend and in LA the next. Although far better than playing in DC on Saturday and in LA on Wednesday, that travel is still a lot on the players. It’s going to be crucial for RSL to get out of D.C. with a good result and back home to Salt Lake as fast as possible.
The more time the players have back in Utah before heading to LA, the better. Although it shouldn’t be too taxing on their bodies, this early in the season it may be tough. You may also see Mike Petke giving maybe fewer minutes or not starting guys in DC so they are rested more for LA, seeing as it is still early in the season.
Utah Royals obviously don’t play until April, but preseason is a huge part of their year. At this time they can be preparing their reserve players and reserve team to be ready for a call-up this summer. It’s assumed that URFC will lose nearly half of their starting 11 during the World Cup, and although there’s a FIFA break it doesn’t go through the whole cup. The NWSL season this year will likely be won in the summer months. Whoever is able to put together a deep roster is likely to have far more success than the other teams in the league. If URFC prepares their players for those call-ups and the changing starting 11s now, it will make the summer months easier.
Real Monarchs: How will David Ochoa impact this team?
David Ochoa was quality in the Monarchs first match versus Sacramento Republic. With facing 12 shots and 5 on target, he made 4 saves. Especially against a team as good as Sacramento, his performance was huge. Assuming we see more of him in the future, fans should be excited. Ochoa has the potential to grow into the role as starting keeper with the Monarchs now that the likes of Connor Sparrow and Jake Leeker are gone. In addition, now that RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando has announced his retirement, he may even have an opportunity to progress to the first team.