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Real Salt Lake gearing up to open training camp

PARK CITY — Later this week Real Salt Lake's players will begin arriving in Utah for the start of training camp.

For veterans like Javier Morales, Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave, after several months of relaxation they will begin trying to regain the form that led to last year's MLS championship.

For RSL's four drafted rookies and its five rookie invitees, they're simply hoping to make an impression and earn a contract on a team with very few openings. Fortunately for those youngsters, the first few days of training camp won't be completely intimidating.

Last Thursday and Friday RSL's coaching staff held a "rookie" mini camp at the Newpark indoor facility in Park City.

"For the draftees and college kids we're looking at right now, it's an opportunity for us to show them what our training sessions are like before they're thrust in with the whole entire group," said RSL coach Jason Kreis. "I want to give these guys the best opportunity we can to show them what they're made of."

With about a half a dozen returning RSL players taking advantage of the optional practices, the rookies were immediately exposed to the increased speed of play in MLS.

"It's nice having a couple of the older guys come out so you get used to the speed so next week won't be quite such a shock," said Justin Davis, RSL's second-round draft pick.

An athletic left-footed player, Davis seems like a lock to make the squad. Nonetheless, he doesn't want to take anything for granted and he's appreciative for the few extra days of work.

First-round pick, Collen Warner, was very impressed by the structure of RSL's practices.

"They put a lot of restrictions, one and two touches on the possessions. I really enjoy that. They encourage us to play as quick and as simply as possible," said Warner.

He said that's not necessarily an adjustment from what he's used to at the University of Portland, which is exciting for Warner as he begins his pro career. He's also grateful for the more relaxed nature of the training sessions.

"It's a little bit safer in this environment, there's a lot of other college guys. I feel like it's been a good help for me to get settled before we head down to Arizona," said Warner.

RSL's veterans report for entrance physicals and fitness testing on Wednesday, and will then train in Park City on Thursday and the University of Utah on Friday before departing for Arizona on Saturday for two weeks of training camp.

e-mail: jedward@desnews.com