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Real Salt Lake promotes Monarchs' team captain to club's roster

Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak (11) hugs teammate Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata (10) after scoring a goal as RSL goes on to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 4-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak (11) hugs teammate Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata (10) after scoring a goal as RSL goes on to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 4-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
Scott G Winterton,

SANDY — Real Salt Lake has announced the signing of Real Monarchs midfielder Nick Besler on Thursday. The 24-year old will be the fourth Monarch to be promoted in the MLS in the last three years for RSL.

“We’re really proud as an organization when we have players that deserve the opportunities. Being the captain and how he has performed consistently throughout the season, it makes a lot of sense,” Real Salt Lake general manager Craig Waibel said. “It was the right time to reward him, and from an organizational standpoint it’s a continuation of what we set out to do, which was to bring guys into the first team when they are ready. There are certainly more players that deserve a look.”

Besler was hand-picked by Mike Petke, who was the Monarch’s head coach at the time, as team captain prior to their season-opener until he was promoted as head coach for RSL in April. Besler has started 22 matches, leading the Monarchs with a 16-3-4 record this season under Monarchs head coach Mark Briggs. From April 22-June 19, the club won a USL record of nine straight matches. Dating back to the 2016 season, the Monarchs won 10 straight matches at Rio Tinto Stadium before drawing to the Tulsa Roughnecks.

“I’m very excited. It was a goal when I signed with the Monarchs to make it to the first team,” Besler said. “I knew I had to consistently perform with that goal in mind of making it to the first team. It provided me extra motivation to keep improving.”

Fresh off a win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night, RSL is looking to keep its playoff hopes alive as it faces the Colorado Rapid on Saturday at 8 p.m.