Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Real Salt Lake preps for title defense
by Ridge Mahoney, December 15th, 2009 7:01AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] Real Salt Lake has been real busy in the offseason. In the days after beating Los Angeles in Seattle to win MLS Cup 2009, RSL unloaded backup goalkeeper Chris Seitz, used the waiver draft to obtain a possible replacement for striker Yura Movsisyan, and added forward Fabian Espindola to a list of starters signed to long-term deals.

Seitz, picked in the 2007 SuperDraft as the third overall selection, went to expansion Philadelphia in exchange for a good chunk of allocation money, said by sources to be approximately $250,000. In his three seasons he played just seven regular-season matches and his development has been stalled by the good form of veteran Nick Rimando.

General manager Garth Lagerwey and head coach Jason Kreis have been scouting college talent to find a new backup for Rimando next month at the MLS SuperDraft. RSL has the last pick in each of the first three rounds.

To fill the hole left by Movsisyan's move to Danish club Randers, RSL claimed forward Abe Thompson on waivers from Houston, and negotiated a deal by which it retains the rights to Espindola through 2013.

Thompson started his career in Dallas and spent the last two seasons in Kansas City and Houston. He's scored 15 goals and contributed 12 assists in 89 games.

In three MLS seasons, Espindola has impressed fans and teammates with his touch and poise, and perplexed team management by injuring himself while celebrating a goal. He came to RSL along with playmaker Javier Morales in August of 2007, played most of the 2008 season before moving on to Venezuelan club Deportivo Anzoátegui, then came back to RSL last May to play 22 regular-season games and all four playoff matches.

In 46 regular-season games (33 starts) he's scored 10 goals and five assists. He joins Morales, and defenders Chris Wingert and Jamison Olave as players signed to four-year contracts.

"The way this league is set up, a lot of players move around," said Wingert, who settled in at left back at RSL after playing both in midfield and in the back for Columbus and Colorado prior to arriving in Salt Lake City in 2007. "But this team has done a good job of getting players it wants to keep, and though to be honest, I prefer to play in midfield, Jason sort of gave me this position to make my own and in fact, challenged me.

"I appreciated that opportunity and it's obviously worked out pretty good for me and the team."

Espíndola, Morales and Olave underwent knee surgeries after RSL's victory in MLS Cup and are expected to recover in time for the start of preseason training in February. Morales needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus and strained lateral cruciate ligament in his left knee after being fouled by David Beckham and substituted in the championship game. Olave and Espindola needed surgeries to clean up debris and repair minor injuries incurred during the season.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Switzerland-USA: Klinsmann seeks chemistry     
Coming off a 3-2 loss to Denmark, which featured another last-game collapse by the Americans, Coach ...
What They're Saying: Thomas Rongen    
"On the highest level, I'm not so sure that Jurgen Klinsmann is the right person for ...
MLS Power Rankings: Gritty FC Dallas tie keeps it on top    
Down to 10 men early in the game, FC Dallas held out for a 0-0 tie ...
U-17 striker Haji Wright joins New York Cosmos    
The NASL's New York Cosmos have signed 17-year-old Southern California product Haji Wright, who started at ...
What They're Saying: CMN Sports    
"As an organization, CMN Sports takes pride in providing some of the most exhilarating soccer matches ...
Road to Russia: Belize survives Caymans' scare    
Belize, Nicaragua, Bermuda and Dominica wrapped up series victories in the first round of World Cup ...
Video Pick: A 60-yard goal from young Belgian     
Marco Weymans, a 17-year-old Belgian who plays for Dutch club PSV, scored from his own half ...
Europe in a Nutshell: Big week for the British Isles     
An international break for Euro 2016 qualifying in the pursuit of Paris: Reviewing an interesting week ...
Freddie Adu signs with Finnish club KuPS    
Freddy Adu has signed a one-year contract with Finnish club KuPS, the 11th club in 12 ...
Morris replaces Johannsson on U.S. roster    
The second forward is the snake-bitten position on the U.S. national team's trip to Europe. After ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives