If you happen to catch an RSL practice at America First Field this week, you’ll notice a couple of things. First of all, you’ll notice a stern tone to the practice sessions thanks to the teams recent 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the San Jose Earthquakes. Second, you’ll notice a young, stout center back training with the team.
That player is Carlos Salcedo, a Mexican national who spent the past year with the RSL-Arizona squad, where he logged mega minutes with the U17/U18 team. Salcedo has occasionally trained with RSL over the course of this season, and has played in several reserve games with the team.
Now that the Academy League season is over, Salcedo is set to train with RSL – likely through the end of the season according to GM Garth Lagerwey. The move is a precursor to potentially signing the player to a Home Grown contract sometime between now and and the start of next season.
Salcedo arrived in Casa Grande this year, coming to the residential academy as a family friend of the head coach of the Academy program, Martin Vasquez. Prior to that the youngster played in the Tigres youth system after a stint with the Chivas de Guadelajara youth program where he played alongside current RSL reserve goalkeeper, Lalo Fernandez.
In addition to Salcedo, Maicon “Mikey” Orellana is a prospect that’s been high on RSL’s list of youngsters. The El Salvador-born forward has been one of RSL’s most productive attacking players since the academy program began. The player from Provo has seen a lot of attention, both far and wide – including from the El Salvador national team. Orellana was recently named the Western Conference U18 Player of the Year.
RSL-AZ U16 player, Jordan Allen, who frequently played with the U18 team this season, as well as with the RSL reserve squad, was also named as the Western Conference U16 Player of the Year. Salcedo was named to the U18 All-Conference squad, as was fellow defender Julio Alarcon. On the U16 squad, Jose Navarro was also named to the All-Conference team. Those players, and others, give the first team a number of Home Grown options for the years to come. Will Salcedo be the next one to put pen to paper and begin his professional career?