Midfielder Jack Blake was acquired by Real Monarchs SLC from the Tampa Bay Rowdies after making 17 appearances for Real following his arrival on loan on June 19 this past season. | Photo courtesy Real Monarchs SLC
HERRIMAN, Utah – Real Monarchs SLC announced season-ending roster moves on Wednesday, including the acquisition of midfielder Jack Blake from the Tampa Bay Rowdies following the conclusion of the loan agreement that sent the English midfielder to the Monarchs during the 2018 USL Championship season.
Real also announced it had picked up contract options on seven players, with defenders Kalen Ryden, Konrad Plewa, Andrew Brody and James Moberg, and midfielders Justin Portillo, Josh Heard and Maikel Chang set to return to the club for the 2019 season.
The club also announced it had declined contract options on goalkeeper Jake Leeker, defenders Rhys Williams and David Diosa, and midfielders Sebastian Velasquez and Charlie Adams.
Blake made 17 appearances for the Monarchs following the loan deal that saw him join the club from Tampa Bay on June 19, and notched one goal, two assists and 18 key passes over the remainder of the season while posting a passing accuracy rate of 83.16 percent.
The trio of Ryden, Chang and Portillo led the Monarchs in starts and minutes played in the 2018 season, with Chang recording a team-high nine assists as he became the first player in the USL Championship’s history to surpass 30 regular-season assists. Chang also recorded four goals and 73 key passes, while Ryden scored five times from set pieces in addition to his defensive duties.
Portillo notched two goals and seven assists in his first season with Real and led the Monarchs with 2,006 passes attempted at an accuracy rate of 89.3 percent. The 26-year-old also recorded 54 key passes and recorded 175 possession recoveries, the most by any Monarchs outfield player.
The Monarchs now have 10 players under contract for the 2019 USL Championship season with midfielder Masta Kacher and defender Stanley Okumu previously under contract for the new campaign.
Goalkeepers – N/A
Defenders – Kalen Ryden, James Moberg, Andrew Brody, Konrad Plewa, Stanley Okumu
Midfielders – Justin Portillo, Maikel Chang, Josh Heard, Masta Kacher, Jack Blake
Forwards – N/A