It’s a great week of soccer for local fans, with Real Salt Lake kicking off its home campaign on Saturday and then high school boys soccer getting underway two days later with the official kickoff of the spring season.

In the Deseret News preseason coaches rankings, familiar faces will open the 2022 campaign as favorites. The preseason No. 1 in four of the five classifications are the state champs from a year ago, while realignment has certainly shaken things up in 2A.

Weber (6A), Wasatch (5A), Ridgeline (4A) and Judge Memorial (3A) are returning champs who get No. 1 billing this spring, whereas Rowland Hall has been tabbed the preseason favorite after last year’s champ RSL Academy High School was bumped up to 3A.

In 6A, Weber ran the tables on a perfect season in 2021 and is primed for another run with a loaded roster.

“We have a lot of great returning players with some exciting younger ones. We have a lot of depth and I fully expect us to compete for the state title again,” said Weber coach Gavin Flitton.

Last year’s 6A runner-up Skyridge checks in at No. 2 in the top classification.

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Wasatch was the top RPI seed in the 5A state tournament last year and went on to win the tournament, and most coaches believe Wasatch is the favorite to repeat that. Wasatch coach Jared Hendry is excited about the prospects as well.

“We have a strong senior class that is ready to make their own run for state. We have a strong underclassman group as well,” said Hendry

In 4A, Richard Alexander is taking over as head coach for Ridgeline, but that hasn’t changed the outlook for the defending champs Riverhawks as they open as the No. 1 team in 4A in the shrunken classification that now only includes 13 teams. A year ago, the 4A state tournament featured upsets galore, with No. 11 seed Ridgeline claiming the title.

It’s a classification with a lot of depth as chaos may reign again in 2022.

The 3A classification got a major boost this year because of UHSAA realignment. Juan Diego — the No. 1 RPI seed in 4A last season — is bumping down a classification into 3A this year, while defending 2A state champion RSL Academy High School is bumping up to 3A.

With the departure of RSL from 2A, Rowland Hall has been tabbed as the 2A favorite. It lost to RSL Academy 1-0 in the state semifinals a year ago.

Deseret News preseason rankings

Class 6A

Team (2021 record)

1. Weber (19-0).

2. Skyridge (16-5).

3. Davis (13-4).

4. Herriman (15-4).

5. Corner Canyon (12-7).

Class 5A

Team (2021 record)

1. Wasatch (18-2).

2. Brighton (14-5).

3. Alta (11-6).

4. Skyline (13-6).

5. Maple Mountain (14-5).

Class 4A

Team (2021 record)

1. Ridgeline (13-7).

2. Desert Hills (10-7).

3. Mountain Crest (12-7).

4. Dixie (13-4).

5. Crimson Cliffs (12-6).

Class 3A

Team (2021 record)

1. Judge Memorial (12-5).

2. Morgan (16-3).

3. Juan Diego (15-3).

4. RSL Academy (13-5).

5. Layton Christian (8-8).

Class 2A

Team (2021 record)

1. Rowland Hall (9-6).

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2. St. Joseph (13-1).

3. Waterford (10-5).

4. Maeser Prep (6-9).

5. Draper APA (9-4).

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