Monarchs sign RSL draft pick Murrell

March 16th, 2015 | by Sean Walker

Real Salt Lake’s move with the establishment of Real Monarchs in the third-division USL was about providing development for its homegrown and academy products, as well as a select portion of its first-team roster.

Before the Monarchs’ first official game, the team has already signed two RSL draft picks, strengthening that tie.

Jordan Murrell signed with the Monarchs on Monday, becoming the second RSL draft pick to opt for the USL side over a first-team contract — or getting waived by the organization. Former South Florida midfielder Lucas Baldin signed with the Monarchs and was unveiled to fans in the organization’s first fan event last week, and both RSL draft picks were present at the Monarchs’ media day event on Monday.

The rookie who played all four years at Syracuse University is a dynamic, true left-footed outside back capable of playing on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball — a perfect set up for RSL’s wing-back formation and four-man back line. His ability to spring forward into the attack is highlighted by his left foot, which he displayed on several occasions during his senior year at Syracuse with 14 shots and eight shots on frame.

RSL signed Murrell in the third round of this winter’s MLS SuperDraft, becoming the No. 57 selection overall on Jan. 20. He became the third Syracuse player taken in the draft (behind Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono and defender Skylar Thomas), which was the most draft picks from Syracuse in MLS SuperDraft history. The Orange did not have a draft pick since 2009.

While in Upstate New York, Murrell anchored a defense for four years at left back, and also played spot duty in central defense. The NSCAA All-South Region honoree started every game of his 74-match career, when he also led the team in assists. Murrell had two goals and seven assists in 2014, finishing his career with 20 helpers — the most ever by a defender in Syracuse history.

Murrell also had five goals on 18 shots on goal in his career with the Orange, which garnered the program’s first-ever No. 1 national ranking during his senior season.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound defender from Ontario, Canada was a product of Toronto FC’s academy before signing with the Orange, captaining the team in 2011. He also played for the Canadian U-18 national team in 2011, and alongside former college teammate Thomas.

(Photo from Canada Soccer/flickr)

(Photo from Canada Soccer/flickr)

The 22-year-old Murrell is originally from London, England, and trained for several weeks with English regional side Oxford City FC prior to the SuperDraft, prompting many scouts and analysts to believe he would attempt a career in Europe before opting for MLS. The decision apparently worked in Real Salt Lake’s favor, as the club picked him up in the originally-dubbed MLS Supplemental Draft, and now signs him to their development pyramid.

RSL’s other SuperDraft pick, former North Carolina defender Boyd Okwuonu, signed with the club after being selected in the first round.

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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