HERRIMAN – Real Salt Lake had their first media availability on Tuesday afternoon at their new indoor training facility at the Zion’s Bank Real Academy following their first three training sessions of the preseason. Players and coaches alike expressed to the media how nice the new $78 million facility is and how it is a revolutionary tool in Major League Soccer. Head coach Mike Petke said that the new facilities now mean “There’s literally no excuse, at all, for not performing, and not coming here with a smile on your face everyday.”
Petke added that he was impressed by the shape each member of the club reported to preseason camp in. He said the staff had a baseline test that they had each player take and all passed the test. Petke added that the physical condition of the club meant he could begin implementing more of what he and the coaching staff had planned earlier. He said that the turf in the indoor facility was something he wasn’t too concerned with but that is why he had RSL’s medical staff and his assistants there to “pull the reins” if he was pushing the players too hard.
The club announced that star goalkeeper Nick Rimando re-signed with the club earlier in the day. That followed the announcement last week that team captain Kyle Beckerman had re-signed as well. Petke said of the iconic duo “It’s amazing. Nick and Kyle together. It’s been an interesting offseason on the front. I knew it was going to get done but as a coach I’m very greedy and selfish in certain things. So it took a little longer than I wanted it to…but I knew it would get done and it’s a relief to know that the signatures have been signed and they’re both here.”
Rimando spoke to the media and said it felt “good” to have re-signed with the club that he has risen to prominence with. He referred to LAFC and the Los Angeles Galaxy as MLS clubs he entertained overtures from during the offseason, as he is a Southern California native, but added “just thinking about it, this is home and where I wanted to be.”
Forward Yura Movsisyan and midfielder Sunday “Sunny” Stephen were not in attendance at training. Petke said with regards to Movsisyan that “We are currently working on a solution that is best for Yura and the club together.”
Regarding Sunny, Petke referred reporters to comments made by New England Revolution general manager Mike Burns on MLSsoccer.com about Revolution star Lee Nguyen not reporting for the opening day of their preseason.
Burn’s comments regarding Nguyen said, in part, that “Lee didn’t report to preseason and he’s not honoring his contract. We’ll handle the matter internally, and we’ve already had discussions with MLS. It’ll be handled appropriately. We have zero tolerance for guys who don’t honor their contracts.”
Real Salt Lake will continue to train for in Herriman at the ZBRA before leaving on their first trip of the offseason to Tuscon, Arizona on January 31. Listen to post-training interviews from Mike Petke, Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando and Albert Rusnak here: