Real Monarchs face St. Louis FC in their 2016 opener, but the focus will probably be turned toward the first team, who are off during the international break.
Because of that break, several Real Salt Lake players will be involved in this Monarchs opener, and there should be plenty to watch as a result.
RSL's first-round pick missed a fair amount of the team's preseason while he was busy sorting out visa concerns, and that's set his progress back slightly. As a result, we can expect to see the Jamaican midfielder plying his trade for at least a short time with Real Monarchs.
What does that mean for him? He should be particularly motivated to show RSL coach Jeff Cassar what he brings to the team, and why he should at least be in the conversation as RSL looks to replace Kyle Beckerman in next week's match against Sporting KC. He almost certainly won't be handed a start immediately, but if he plays well, he could find himself on the bench for one of RSL's important early matches.
While we'd all like to think that Justen Glad is ready to just start a match next week against a dangerous team, we have to be realistic about this one: We have a chance to see if he's at least somewhat ready in a competitive match, and that could play a role in determining whether he starts or not.
If Glad does play and is useful in the process, that should be a clear indicator that he's going to get the start. If he does and is awful, there's a big question mark hanging over that appearance. If he doesn't start, we'll just be left without more evidence.
We've seen Stertzer with Monarchs before, and he was very good. If he does play, expect him to show what he brings to the first team — and not just in terms of midfield positioning. He can bring excellent movement and quick combination play to the team, and that's the sort of thing that will elevate other, less prominent players.