Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis says preseason will have one focus: teaching

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SANDY — At the end of a big week of acquisitions, Real Salt Lake's roster assembled last Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium for the first time since the 2012 season came to a close.

RSL's preseason begins Monday at its Arizona training complex following travel early that day. Head coach Jason Kreis said the club's preseason will consist of one focus: teaching.

“A whole lot of teaching to do in this preseason,” said Kreis. “It’s going to be about re-establishing who we are at Real Salt Lake, what it means to be part of our club, what it means every single day in training, what you have to bring. Then we’re going to have to, on top of that, make sure that we’ve got some guys that are really ready, that haven’t been in the past, to make contributions.”

John Stertzer
John Stertzer

With four regulars currently away on international duty — regulars that will miss at least part of the preseason — Kreis hopes to see young players step up this season, which will have to begin in the preseason to get them ready for competitive matches in 2013.

“A whole lot of getting the guys that are now in their second year here, getting them ready to contribute," said Kreis. "Because if we look at our roster, we’re going to rely on guys like (Sebastian) Velasquez and (Enzo) Martinez and (Carlos) Salcedo and (Eduardo) Fernandez. We’re going to rely on a lot of those young players — (Kwame) Watson-Siriboe, (Aaron) Maund.

Devon Sandoval
Devon Sandoval

"We’re going to rely on those guys to contribute this year. We’re going to need them to step forward and make contributions to our team if we’re going to have any kind of success.”

The Salt Lake club’s two newest additions, John Stertzer and Devon Sandoval, were acquired during MLS SuperDraft last week. Both said they are ready to begin working.

“I think the goal right now is just to work hard,” said Stertzer. “Every day work hard, give 100 percent all the time and when my number is called I’ll be ready. If not, I can keep working hard. I think at the end of the day it’s all about working hard right now.”

Sandoval, who was able to spend a week with RSL last summer working hard, also has hard work on his mind this preseason.

“I’m just coming in to work hard and fight for a chance to play and help the team accomplish its goals. That’s what’s most important at the end of the day,” said Sandoval. “I’m just focused on going into preseason and working hard and just proving myself.”

Kira Terry is a sports writer covering Real Salt Lake for Follow her on Twitter, @kiraterry.

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