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Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke speaks with media after the first practice of the season atReal Salt Lake Training Academy and Facility in Harriman on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Silas Walker, Deseret News)
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RSL Heads To LA For Start Of Preseason Training, 2019 Season

Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke speaks with media after the first practice of the season atReal Salt Lake Training Academy and Facility in Harriman on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Silas Walker, Deseret News)

HERRIMAN, Utah – Real Salt Lake began its 2019 campaign with the first day of training camp at the club’s Zions Back Real Academy.

For many players, including the key veterans, it was good to get back in the swing of things.

“I feel great. Just like all first days, everybody’s excited like it’s the first day of school,” said team captain Kyle Beckerman. “It’s good to get the run out of the way and now we’re getting back to play soccer.”

In 2018, RSL made the playoffs thanks to a Decision Day victory by Houston over the L.A. Galaxy. The team advanced to the second round after a victory in the knockout round over LAFC. It was then in the series stage that RSL fell to Sporting Kansas City.

Since then, head coach Mike Petke has been anxiously awaiting the start of the new season.

“I’ve been counting down the days for months now,” said Petke. “This is where I love to be, where I want to be and to finally get the group back together after our break, it was a good first day. Brief, but good and I’m looking forward to getting to L.A. tomorrow.”

Following the first day of training on Monday, the team will fly out to Los Angeles for the next five days to practice in the sunshine.

For Los Angeles native, goalkeeper Nick Rimando, it was a good start on Monday and he’s excited to get to California for more training.

“Good to be back. The vibe’s good,” said Rimando. “Looking forward to seeing all these guys today and looking forward to stepping on that field at UCLA and get this going.”

RSL will play its first preseason game on Feb. 8 against Iwaki FC of Japan at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii.