Real Salt Lake’s David Ochoa saw his first opportunity with the full national team come to an abrupt and unfortunate close on Thursday, December 3rd after picking up a right quadricep strain.
We can’t help but feel gutted for the young goalkeeper who was likely being sized up by Gregg Berhalter for the US Olympic team.
Ochoa was replaced by JT Marcinkowski, the 23 year old San Jose Earthquake keeper. It is unclear when Ochoa will be back to full fitness but we all hope it is in time to for RSL’s 2021 season opener.
Original Story Published on 11/30/2020
Real Salt Lake has a storied history of having players on the roster who have been called up to represent their countries. In fact, since the inception of the club in 2005 an RSL man has appeared in every World Cup with the lone exception being the last World Cup in 2018, but even then, an ex-RSL man in Carlos Salcedo participated.
With that as the backdrop, sadly, in recent years we haven’t seen as many players from RSL being called up to their respective national teams. Albert Rusnák seems to be a staple for Slovakia but outside of that, the last player to be called up was Justen Glad exactly one year ago.
Despite the drought on the domestic front, RSL fans may just have something to be excited about again with David Ochoa earning his first senior team national call up. Ochoa’s development has been on a steady but progressive trend. He started in 20 Real Monarchs games in 2019, including all four of matches that saw the Monarchs win the USL Championship. Similarly, he has seen regular call ups for the U-18 and U-20 US youth national teams and has featured in 9 total matches at the youth national team level.
It has felt like Ochoa has been on the cusp of breaking through as a regular starter at RSL since the departure of Nick Rimando; but due to Covid protocols and Freddy Juarez’s roster decisions we only saw Ochoa play 90 minutes on a snow swept pitch in 2020. Ochoa certainly has loads of talent, and it feels like Gregg Berhalter wants to take a closer look, perhaps with eyes towards the summer Olympic games that were postponed this last summer.
If Ochoa can seize this opportunity perhaps we will see a domino affect take place, both securing himself on the US Olympic roster and perhaps the starting role as Real Salt Lake’s heir apparent in goal.
P.S. Really bummed that Aaron Herrera didn’t get called in. The man has loads of talent and hopefully will get a national team look in the near future.