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Discussion in 'Real Salt Lake' started by goobx1, Nov 2, 2020.
The Athletic has a 30 day free trial.
Here are some dates to look forward to. Should hear by the 30th what players RSL wants to keep. Don't forget 3 roster spots are already taken for next year (Powder, Brody and Davis). I'm guestimating that leaves about 6 spots for new players. I'm not counting if we trade someone like Glad.
Speaking of this, there's a good article on The Athletic about RSL's state of limbo entering the offseason. It's about the ownership search but also the roster holes and what might be, and might not be because of the ownership limbo, in the cards.
Some good quotes from this article (thanks for sharing the free month subscription). This one in particular sheds some light as to the operating model right now for the club:
“We are allowed to operate within the MLS budget, within our salary budget, and we have the freedom to do that,” Fall explained. “But until we have a new owner, I think we are likely to be unable to sign a new designated player until we have clarity on what that full picture looks like.”
Which is completely understandable. Though, I'll be honest, it seems even more strange that the league would allow the club to keep soldiering on with key roster decisions being made by what could very well be a lame duck crew. I'm not sure what the right balance/answer is. This seems the most logical, you have to say. But it presents some serious issues should a new ownership group come in and not agree with how Fall has been operating as GM
There was also this that raised my eyebrow:
Fall did say RSL has a sizable amount of financial flexibility underneath the cap. “We’re not hamstrung to the point that we can’t make any acquisitions or bring in any players,” he added. “We have to find a way to improve but also keep open that flexibility to make the game-changing acquisitions that we may need to make when the time comes.”
Also, this is... um... something (from the above mentioned Athletic article)
Some notable RSL players are out of contract entering this offseason, including Kyle Beckerman. The midfielder, now 38, has yet to inform RSL of his plans. Fall said he and the RSL legend have had constructive talks about his future this year, but said Beckerman will have all the time he wants to sort out what he wants to do going forward.
Luke Mulholland and Andrew Putna will also be out of contract. Putna was RSL’s No. 1 goalkeeper for most of 2020, and the club is expected to bring him back.
Hopefully he's not a ********ing idiot this time and doesn't fill the roster with useless USL players and we have no room to sign any DPs in the summer window.
deepest roster in team history!
but really, hopefully he doesn't literally fill the roster full like he did. Nor does he have more international players than international slots. That is one of the most perplexing things of this roster that isn't talked about. How does that happen?
I'm also curious how players are looking at this. For those out of contract, why would you tie yourself to this club when it has such an uncertain future? For those currently under contract, how many are requesting a transfer/trade to find stability? Given the league is single entity, those contracts will be honored, but the lifespan of a professional is so short to want to hitch yourself to a club in this situation.
If KB is in an RSL jersey next year Fall should be out of a job. There is zero reason to keep KB on contract. He should be making a case to be involved in the coaching staff, at the very most, and more realistically should be interviewing for a job with the academy (should it continue to exist...)
The only question Fall should be asking KB5 is, "do you want us to retire #5 to the rafters on the home opener to start the year or the home finale when we end it?"
So Ledezma-to-Soto . . . twice!
The academy just hasn't produced first team level players for awhile...
Could Waibel have been this clueless, or did he just not think that he could retain those guys anyway, so his Academy statement kinda makes sense? I know that's a very generous reading, but it does boggle the mind that he could say that in relation to Ledezma, Soto and the Booths, at the very least.
had they played at UW maybe he would have thought differently...
There's a familiar face in the list of best MLS trades of 2020: Brooks Lennon.
Atlanta acquired: right wingback Brooks Lennon
Real Salt Lake acquired: $150,000 GAM, $150,000 TAM
Some of that allocation acquired in the Nagbe trade (and their trade of Julian Gressel to D.C. United) was used to get talented wingback/winger/fullback versatile right-sided player Brooks Lennon. In a hugely disappointing 2020 for Atlanta, Lennon proved one of the few bright spots.
Lennon led the team in expected assists (3.6), chances created (23), successful crosses (30) and was tied for the lead in assists (3). He was tied for the league-lead in successful crosses, too.
Gressel was the most productive wingback in the league in Atlanta with many crosses finding Josef Martinez. Lennon is one of the few MLS players in the same tier of crossing ability as Gressel. Expect a bump in assists for Lennon next year with a healthy Martinez.
(I will add that $300k is a pretty good haul. We spent it on, well, no one as far as I can tell.)
in case you needed more evidence that Freddy just isn't a good coach - Lennon was routinely dropped from lineups by Freddy at the end of 2019. He leaves to a club with an idea (and not even a great one, we saw how bad Atlanta were this year) and vaults to a top player in his position.
If I'm a player at the end of my contract (Read: Glad) I look at Lennon and only see reasons to leave
He's been a core member of the group as the team has declined over the last 5 years. Almost all stats show that the team has better outcomes when he plays CB. All the MLS analysts keep waiting for him to break big and become a top-tier CB in MLS.
One thing holding him back is that I think he still only weighs 160#. (He needs another 20# of muscle on him, at least. Time to hit the juice, Justen!)
The other is RSL.
Glad is a great example of a player that would benefit from and improve with an actual MLS level quality coach which Freddy is not or ever will be.
Freddy is probably 100% the reason we have no idea what kind of a player Jeizon actually is even after a full season of playing 5 or 6 minutes every 5th game or so. What a joke.
Since I think it's a law now that everyone in the world has to have a podcast I think there is room for a good RSL podcast. Or is there one already I am just not aware of?
I mean, I sort of see your point but who was Lennon going to replace? Herrera? Savarino? There's an argument that he probably should've seen more minutes on the left side but let's be honest, none of us rate Lennon higher than Sava or Herrera.
That's a fair critique. I think there is a system limitation in place with RSL vs Atlanta. While both have a 4-2-3-1 on paper, the Atlanta setup is much different to watch in person. Their tactics adjust to highlight a player in his position.
I do think that is something that isn't talked about enough: Freddy kept going with this 4-2-3-1 setup despite not having the right pieces to pull it off. More than that, the guys he should have been trying to highlight had to keep being rotated to accommodate for another player. There is an obvious disconnect between roster construction and team tactics in this team. There has been for a few years now.
To me, I don't know how you look at our roster, with all the "better" talent we have in some areas vs other, that you wouldn't try a 3-5-2 or something along those lines. If Freddy is so infatuated with Silva, why not start him WITH Onuhoa and Glad in the back, let those 3 stay home, and then advance Herrera. This allows something different on the left from Donny Toia. Opens the door to a midfield that has central players who can interchange better. It also puts, at least on paper, another player up top. We were so desperate to have players in advanced positions, that it only made sense.
Using this year's roster, I think you could have gone with something like this:
Rusnak - Martinez
Chang - Everton - Kreilach - Ruiz - Herrera
Glad - Onuhoa - Silva
In my head that plays more like a 3-2-3-2, which is a weird setup. I dunno. Our roster sucks. I just wish Freddy would have stopped with the same shit over and over again with the 4-2-3-1. It stressed just how poor we were up top and how thin we were on the left. It complicated the Rusnak/Kreilach situation. And it wanted to play so heavy on the wings despite our wingers not being difference makers.
Now THIS is something I can get behind. The fact that we kept rolling the same formation from Petke and adjusted the 1 time in Minnesota shows a lack of innovation and ideas from Freddy.
I think that this should be the nail in the coffin on an RSL team coached by Freddy. Sadly it may not be the case though.
It was like watching the definition of insanity played out game after game after game after game. I'm sure that opposing teams were just shaking in their boots worried that RSL might do something crazy like sub before the 80th minute or something.
I doubt much would have changed with DLH still in charge and hopefully things will improve if we ever get a new owner. Can it get much worse? Yea, probably.
Should we be surprised that the top assistant coach for Petke, who voiced how much he loved his assistant coaches, kept the same ideas?
That was one of the most head scratching things from Freddy. A commitment to the same when the results weren't good. Hell, that first half against Minnesota was one of the more interesting/exciting phases of play for the team. That he instantly flipped back to the same old shit was infuriating. The players looked bored by it, too.
And this is where you can draw a hard line from DLH and his cronies and the people in actual soccer positions. DLH wasn't in the locker room talking tactics. He was never in there - he would have been beat up by a few of the guys, had he. He wasn't at training, either. That was on Freddy to run and organize. He didn't do it well. So when you hear the talk of "oh, he had to deal with all the DLH drama". Yes, I agree with that. But he also had space to operate outside of DLH and showed who he was as a coach: a guy with limited ideas and fewer adjustments.
This team never felt dynamic. This team never felt explosive or all that fun to watch. For every moment we would have of good soccer, we'd follow it with 10+ bad ones.
I look at that and just don't understand why some folks want to keep giving Freddy time. We've been under his leadership officially for nearly 2 seasons and he's been involved with the staff for much longer than that. Successful clubs don't completely transition their team by simply removing the head coach and keeping everything else the same underneath. New ideas are needed. Fresh perspectives. Just something different.
But none of that seems likely until the ownership situation is figured out. Who fires Freddy right now? Who fires Elliott Fall?
I don't think it should be seen as a lack of innovation and ideas from Freddy, but more how much involvement Freddy had when Petke was in charge. Freddy ran the training sessions. Is it that much of a stretch to think he was involved in roster and formation decision choices with Petke? Granted, I don't think Freddy is that great of a coach, but neither was Petke.
Doyle's "What 2020 Meant for Each Club" piece dropped today
It was pretty spot on for RSL. In fact, if anything, I thought it was actually a bit more positive than the team deserved. Even the gif of a dog failing multiple times to get out of a pit. yeah. That's our club.
This part about RSL stood out to me:
Five Players to Build Around:
Kreilach (CM): He's really good at a number of spots! He's also approaching his 32nd birthday, so it'd be best to permanently ensconce him in central midfield and let him do the job he's supposed to.
Rusnak (AM): 3g/2a in 1300 minutes from a DP No. 10 is yuck, but we've seen Rusnak—who's still just 26—put up real numbers before.
Pablo Ruiz (DM): The little Argentine d-mid was pretty good in his 1300ish minutes of action in 2020, though I think there'd be some warranted worry about the defensive efficacy of him and Kreilach together in central midfield.
Aaron Herrera (RB): Herrera didn't progress year over year, but he didn't regress as hard as most of the other players on the roster and remains one of the better fullbacks in the league.
Baird (W/F): He's steadily regressed since his Rookie of the Year campaign, and will be 25 by the time next season starts. Two years ago he was considered better than Chris Mueller. He still has the talent to be that level of a winger in this league, and nobody else on this roster can say as much.
I'm not sure why Baird and Rusnak are on this list. Both regressed MASSIVELY this last year. In fact, for the past 2 seasons. I wouldn't build around them. I'd sell them.
Kreilach is the veteran presence in the middle, I'm fine with that. Ruiz is the young guy you groom next to him. Everton, for me, slides in nicely there with a rotation in of maybe a Besler or someone else if you're tight.
However, the club HAS to learn to sell high and see that Herrera is rated. The strange thing for me, was seeing the top 5 in each position thing and Herrera not getting mentioned. That's a product of RSL being the shit show we were this year, no doubt, because Herrera is that good. I will stand behind it. But maybe that says more about Herrera's perception than his ability. Stock isn't as high as I would have thought. Another season with RSL, or even just half a season, might be the best thing if we can get the right coach to not make the team look like a complete shit show
Who would you replace them with? Ochoa maybe? No other forward (Meram, Chang, Douglas), or midfielder (Portillo, Jeizon, Everton, Besler), or defender (okay, Glad would but we've more or less clearly indicated he's best off somewhere else). There isn't anyone else.
I like Chang as a supporting piece, but I don't know any playoff team where he would have as many starts as he had with us (speed and speed of play being detriments) so you can't "build around" him. An article like this requires one to work with existing assets, and so you have to hope Rusnak and Baird rebound because the roster is just that weak.