Future Real Salt Lake Center Back Partnership Continues Promising Development
SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake has one of the most recognizable youth systems in North America and the talent coming out of the RSL Academy is not slowing down any time soon.
As Real Salt Lake prepares for the 2022 season, many fans remain concerned by the lack of depth at center back especially following the loss of Toni Datković who opted to return to Spain after a short-lived stint in the United States.
Justen Glad and Marcelo Silva will likely play the most minutes at the position in 2022, however, Erik Holt will also push for playing time. Over the years, Silva has struggled mightily with remaining healthy while Glad has also had his fair share of stints on the sideline. While Holt appeared in 18 fixtures in 2021, he had previously seen action in seven games.
Remember The Names
The 2022 season could easily provide a platform for a pair of young phenoms in Zack Farnsworth and Jaziel Orozco.
Farnsworth starred for the Real Monarchs throughout the 2020 season as an Academy player where he began the season playing full-back before solidifying his spot at center back by season’s end. He was then invited to join the first team during preseason where he excelled. Many insiders suggested that he looked to be the best center back on the roster throughout preseason training.
Unfortunately, a serious ankle injury prevented Farnsworth from having any impact on the 2021 season. However, his impressive rise in ability warranted a first-team contract offer and on June 17, 2021, he signed as a Homegrown player.
Orozco has shared a similar journey to Farnsworth. In 2021, he excelled for the Real Monarchs as an Academy player. When he debuted on May 8, 2021, he was just 16 years of age, not that you would know it if you had seen him play.
In the middle of the USL season, Orozco was selected to train with the Mexican National Team as part of their lead-up to the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Then, on January 22, 2022, he was signed as a Homegrown to a first-team contract. Orozco is currently training with the first team in Tucson and from all reports is thriving alongside fellow first-team teammates.
Farnsworth and Orozco are the future for Real Salt Lake.
Orozco is still just 17 years of age while Farnsworth is 19 and the two will inevitably control the center half position for Real Salt Lake for some time.
Remarkably, despite the concern by the RSL faithful, Real Salt Lake does not need to bring in another center back. Farnsworth and Orozco are nearing their time on the biggest stage when they will likely remind the rest of the league just how powerful the RSL Academy has become.
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