PHOENIX (Wednesday April 5th, 2023) -- On Sunday, current RSL AZ MLS Next forward, Noah Ervin, made his professional debut when he was brought on as a second half substitute in the Real Monarchs MLS Next Pro match.
Noah is now the fourth RSL AZ player to make his pro debut with the Real Monarchs or Real Salt Lake since 2021. Previous RSL AZ players who have made their pro debuts: Izzy Amparo, Luis Rivera, and Julio Benitez. Dominic Berrios, a former RSL AZ players, was named to the 18 for the Monarchs first match this season but did not appear in the match.
Prior to the match, Real Monarchs invited four current RSL AZ MLS Next players up to Utah to train with the team. Making the trip to Utah was: Leo Landeros, Cruzeiro Cruz, Noah Ervin, and Ben Erwin.
Noah and Ben were named to the Real Monarchs squad prior to Sunday's match against the Tacoma Defiance. Noah played 30 minutes in the match and Ben was named to the 18 but did not see any action.
Hear from the players who made the trip to Utah below.
Noah - "The experience with the Monarchs was amazing. Coming from a teenager's point of view who has always aspired to play at the professional level, it was cool to get a feel for what it is like at this level. When I suited up with the Monarchs, I did not know whether I was going to play or not. But I prepared myself as if I was going to play because when that time comes I want to be prepared mentally. When I heard the coach (Jámison Olave) call me over and tell me that I was going in at the 60th minute, I had a rush of adrenaline but also excitement because this was the moment I've been waiting for. Being out on the field was very different from what I am used to . The speed of play and competition is a whole other level. I felt I adjusted well and had fun out on the pitch."
Ben - "Training with the Monarchs was always a dream and a goal of mine. I'm glad I was able to train well enough to earn myself a spot on the travel roster. It was weird at first walking into the facility and seeing all the first team guys like Kreilach walk by, but as the week went on I focused more on training. Traveling itself was also a different experience because it's strictly business at this level. The time in Seattle was great and one of my favorite memories was when Noah and I sang the Real Salt Lake fight song for the entire team since it was our first road trip. Above all, the time I've spent with the Monarchs has only increased my desire to play at a high level and I hope to keep moving forward with that goal.
Leo - "It was a great experience being in that environment taught me and my teammates what it takes to make that jump to the next level. We learned so much being around so many great coaches and players."
Cruziero - “It was exciting to change up the routine and train with more experienced players. It was a great opportunity and I'm grateful for it."