Real Salt Lake continues to get younger.
The organization that prioritizes the development of its own players from either the Real Monarchs or the academy team recently added three to the first team in Bode Davis, Andrew Brody and Noah Powder. The trio, whose average age is 21 years and four months, will join RSL for the 2021 season.
“All three of those will push our roster and add energy to the everyday environment,” RSL coach Freddy Juarez said.
Davis, Brody and Powder are currently members of the Monarchs, RSL’s affiliate in the United Soccer League. Powder was on the 2019 Monarchs team that won its first title in franchise history. Davis and Brody started at the RSL Academy as teenagers and worked their way into homegrown contracts.
RSL has 11 players on this season’s roster who played in its academy, including Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Donny Toia and Corey Baird.
Davis, 18, is unique in that he just graduated from the academy in the spring and started playing for the Monarchs in July. In nine starts and 14 total games, Davis has two goals and two assists.
RSL VS. LAFC
At Rio Tinto Stadium
When • Sunday, 7:30 p.m.
TV • KMYU
RSL general manager Elliot Fall said Davis is in the process of breaking through a developmental ceiling as he continues to prove himself at higher levels of competition. But because of his youth, Davis likely won’t see much time with RSL in 2021.
“He still has development to do,” Fall said. “He’s still a young player and a player who isn’t at his potential, obviously. So we’ll probably see him still with the Monarchs a fair amount, but he’ll be competing for minutes at the first team.”
Davis said his goal as a boy was to become a professional soccer player. He doesn’t think he’s fully processed his meteoric rise, but it’s clear the decisions he made earlier in life led him to where he is now.
“I just put all my other hobbies and everything else to the side,” Davis said. “I just enjoyed playing soccer and kept my head down and kept working hard and my dream came true.”
Brody waited nine years for his dream to come true. He joined the academy in 2011, played college soccer at the University of Louisville and signed with the Monarchs in 2016. Last year, he was loaned to Austrian third division club FC Pinzgau Saalfelden.
Fall said the experience in Austria that has contributed to Brody’s play with the Monarchs this season. Brody has a goal and an assist in 10 games — all of them starts — so far this season.
“I think that experience kind of showed him what there is out there and what opportunities there still can be,” Fall said. “And so he came back even hungrier and has been phenomenal for the Monarchs this year.”
The circuitous path that led Brody to an RSL contract has given him a different perspective, he said.
“I think my career has brought forth a lot of challenges,” Brody said. “Those difficult times, those difficult periods are something that made me the player I am today. And it’s opened my eyes to just see the game in a new light almost.”
Powder is a USL veteran and won a championship as a rookie with the New York Red Bulls II in 2016. Since joining the Monarchs, he’s only added to his trophy case and shown his versatility as an outside back that can play on the wing at times.
“Frankly, he’s earned the opportunity to prove it at the next level,” Fall said.
RSL won’t find out the trio’s potential impact with the first team until next year. But signing those three players is in keeping with the organization’s identity over the last several seasons.
“I think sometimes you don’t necessarily have to leave the building to try and bring somebody who’s going to make the club better,” RSL defender Nedum Onuoha said.