Monarchs Media Day: Coach Freddy Juarez

March 19th, 2015 | by Sean Walker

 

Screen capture/RSL Communications

Real Monarchs SLC head coach Freddy Juarez (Photo: Screen capture/RSL Communications)

Real Monarchs SLC will kick off its inaugural season in USL on Sunday when the squad faces off against L.A. Galaxy II in Carson, California.

The Monarchs have put together their roster, and after three-straight shutouts in the preseason (with wins over Weber State, Utah Valley University, and USL side Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC), the club is almost set for its first formal match.

Every day leading up to opening kick, Salt City FC will bring you highlights from an interview with a member of the organization, courtesy of Monday’s Monarchs Media Day. If you want to watch highlights of the event, the club’s communication staff put together a video, which we will include below.

What better place to begin than with the franchise’s first-ever head coach, Freddy Juarez, a former RSL-Arizona Academy administrator taking the reigns of his first professional soccer outfit? The native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, dished to the media Monday on the club’s function, the preseason, and how he wants to help bridge the first-team Real Salt Lake with its successful youth academy in Arizona.

 

Opening statement:

“I’m super excited for this program. What we want to have is very similar to the first team and our academy, play the RSL way, and make sure we are creating a lot of opportunities throughout the game. We want fans to be very excited coming to the game, and leave the game thinking ‘that was fun, and we want to come back.’”

On how the club balances training and development with winning in USL:

“I don’t think we’ll come off firing on all cylinders right away, but it’s going to be a process. I think sooner rather than later, we’ll be a good, exciting team.”

“I’ve gotten hit from every angle: we want to develop, we want to win, we want to play good soccer. Of course, we want to win — I think everyone who is competitive wants to win. But it may not be something that gets done right away. RSL is used to winning and competing for things, and that is down to the academy as well. We’re bridging the gap between the academy and the first team, and I don’t expect anything less from our team. We want to compete … You bring that pressure upon yourself because you are competitive.

“Winning is a part of development. You want to develop guys on and off the field, but you want a winning mentality. That’s what further develops guys. We want to win games. It would be awesome to win a championship in the first year, and that’s what we are going to play for.”

On ending the preseason, and starting the year on the road against a playoff contender:

“Getting on to the field is the fun part. When we finally went out for the first session — now this is the best part. We’ve got three games for preseason; we’ve had some good results, but not always the best soccer. That’s expected — it’s early.”

“I don’t expect us to play our best soccer this early in the season, especially to a team that was a final four team, a team with a year under their belt. But we want to have a good showing. We hope we can do that in the first game.”

Check back Friday evening for comments from Real Monarchs midfielder Ricardo Velazco, an Arizona academy product who left the University of Louisville one year early to sign with RSL’s third-division affiliate.

Sean Walker

Sean Walker

Salt City FC editor-in-chief Sean Walker has been covering soccer at all levels since 2007. He began his career in Las Vegas, and has since written for publications from the Intermountain West to Central New York, where he attended graduate school in 2012. Currently, Sean covers Real Salt Lake and Major League Soccer for KSL.com. A struggling Evertonian by birth, Sean follows European soccer through the blue lens of the Toffees, and has strong feelings toward the UEFA Europa League.

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