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Why Sebastian Velasquez and Chandler Hoffman can’t play for RSL in the US Open Cup

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Obscure CBA rules mean the two 26-year-old stand-outs won’t be playing for RSL next week.

RSL coach Mike Petke isn’t a happy guy these days. At least not where soccer’s concerned.

That’s because Sebastian Velasquez and Chandler Hoffman — two Real Monarchs players — can’t be called up for Real Salt Lake’s US Open Cup match against Sacramento Republic, despite the fact that you can call up players from your USL affiliate.

And that’s just because of age.

Hoffman and Velasquez, both 26, run afoul of a rule found in the collective bargaining agreement between MLS Players Union and Major League Soccer (rule 18.8, section iii, if you’re curious) specifying that players who sign a short-term Standard Player Agreement must be 25-years-old or younger. Th

And that rule applies to just more than US Open Cup matches. That also applies to exhibition matches, including the friendly against Manchester United next month.

In an interview with reporters at RSL’s training session today, Petke said he’s frustrated about the rule and gutted for the two players.

“It’s unfortunate, because we’re missing two very key players for the Monarchs that I really wanted to get in because of the CBA — I don’t know who the hell it’s from,” he said. “Those are two key players for the Monarchs, and they’re at the top of the list to have earned the right to come up and play. I’m gutted for them.”

Hoffman and Velasquez have been goalscoring phenoms for Real Monarchs, with Hoffman scoring seven goals in 11 games and Velasquez scoring 6 in 10 games.