Releases from Real Monarchs have been coming out over the last few days, and it’s looking like quite the culling.
Gone from the roster are a handful of academy graduates, a spattering of first-season signings, and more.
Update, Monday, Oct. 3: Alec Sundly joins the list of departures
- Amass Amankona, 2016 RSL draft pick
- Tyler Arnone, first-year signing and a mainstay of the Monarchs
- Jony Caparelli
- Darion Copeland, first-year signing
- Edgar Duran, RSL-AZ graduate
- Maikon Orellana, first-year signing, RSL-AZ graduate, and Provo’s greatest goalscorer
- Eric Osswald, first-year signing and backup goalkeeper
- Etiandro Tavares, first-year signing, RSL-AZ graduate
- Alec Sundly, first-year signing
Who does that leave around — at least at this point?
- Charlie Adams, signed late this season
- Andrew Brody, RSL-AZ graduate and one of the most exciting players for Monarchs
- Kevaughn Frater, Jamaican forward
- Max Lachowekci, RSL’s second-round draft pick
- Jesus Leal, signed late this season
- James Moberg, signed early this season
- Emilio Orozco, first-year signing
- Amet Ramirez, signed late this season
- Connor Sparrow, RSL’s fourth-round draft pick
- Elder Torres, signed this year and on the radar of the Honduran national team
If this pattern continues, some might be on the edge — namely Alec Sundly and Emilio Orozco. Of course, there’s no certainty to that assessment, but they’re the only two players who haven’t made a public statement that also played that first Monarchs year.
What does this mean, though?
It’s easy to interpret this as a statement about the way the team played and their weakness when it came time to close out games and make their way into the playoffs. That, on its own, is probably not a strong factor, though.
The stated goal for the team is development, and a two-year stint with a reserves team playing 28 games a year is about as good an evaluation period as you could hope for. It hurts to lose some of these players — Orellana, for instance, was a player we’d been watching from his academy days with eager anticipation, and to see him not continue with the team hurts.
One of the hallmarks of Monarchs is that they’ve been incredible in the community, becoming active players in Utah’s rich soccer culture. That’s the thing that hurts the most — but it hammers home that the team is about more than just that community. They can’t forget that as it progresses, but likewise, it can’t be the only goal.
“We didn’t build the team the right way to win,” Waibel said. “We wanted to develop too many players and it is a developmental team, but you need more players with more experience to help put those young players in positions to get better development in meaningful games.”
It remains to be seen if any other players are dropped, but we can certainly start to understand why change has been the theme the last few days. Signings like Adams, Leal and Ramirez start to adjust for those comments.
The big question, then, becomes about what role more experienced players will have in the future of the first-team. Could it become a more extended trial environment for those players to potentially make the big roster? Or could it be a destination for players winding down their MLS careers? Time will tell on this one.