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RSL ups the ante to snag Borchers
by Ridge Mahoney, February 15th, 2008 6:30AM

TAGS:  mls


Former Rapids defender Nat Borchers is coming back, if not home, to a part of the country not far from home. Real Salt Lake exercised an allocation to acquire Borchers, 26, who left MLS two seasons ago in a $365,000 transfer to Norwegian club Odd Grenland, which was relegated last fall.

Rather than pay Borchers for another season in the second division, Odd Grenlad agreed to sell him back to MLS for a fee of slightly less than $100,000, according to a source with knowledge of the deal's details.

Because the Rapids received an allocation when Borchers was sold, he needed to re-enter the league through the allocation process. San Jose and Toronto, the teams first and second, respectively, on the allocation ladder of priority, declined to use an allocation before RSL took him.

Borchers played at the University of Denver and for Boulder Rapids Reserve of the PDL before catching on with the first team in 2003. He played 83 MLS games and twice for the U.S. national team before leaving for Norway. He is currently rehabilitating an ankle injury and is expected to join up with Real Salt Lake when its preseason camp moves to Florida Feb. 23.

RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey also hopes that by then a P-1 visa will have been issued for Argentine midfielder Matias Cordoba. Another foreign addition, Colombian defender Jamilson Olave, may not be able to join the team until it heads for Argentina next month. They join Matias Mantilla, Fabian Espindola and Javier Morales, midseason imports last year that markedly improved the team's cohesion and possession.

"Certainly from where we are right now, we need the imports, we need to raise the level of our league, we need to raise the level of our team," says Lagerwey of the league's decision to up the international allotment to eight players per team. "The path to long-term success is developing internally, developing the players on your roster and youth players, and producing that talent, as opposed to importing it from abroad.

"Different teams are going to have different philosophies on how to build themselves and I do think if you want to get better in a hurry, the way to do that is through experienced players, either foreign players or Americans playing abroad, not college players."

In Borchers, Cordoba, and Olave, RSL is moving on both fronts.


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