Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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
Ohio Wesleyan mourns freshman Luke Gabbert's death    
Luke Gabbert, who had just completed his freshman season at perennial Division III power Ohio Wesleyan, ...
What They're Saying: Don Garber    
"We are very excited about the possibilities in St. Louis. We believe it's MLS-ready. We've got ...
USA-Canada Takeaways: Year makes big difference    
The USA swept two games at a January camp for only the second time in a ...
Ashley Cole: 'I'm not a diva'    
Ashley Cole was not going to get away with his introductory press conference in Los Angeles ...
What They're Saying: Ashley Cole    
"I didn't come here to sit on the beach, to rest." -- Ashley Cole, the 35-year-old ...
U.S. Abroad: Gonzalez and Wood get big goals    
Omar Gonzalez kept Pachuca unbeaten in the Liga MX's Torneo Apertura when he scored on a ...
Video Picks: Top 5 EPL Goals of the Week    
Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea), Alex Chamberlain (Arsenal), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) and Jesse Lingard ...
MLS Preseason: Training camp and friendly schedules    
Newly acquired Jack McInerney scored two goals as the defending champion Portland Timbers defeated their Cascadia ...
MLS player tracker with complete rosters (Feb. 5-6)    
Walker Zimmerman is back with FC Dallas. The 22-year-old defender whose late goal kept it in ...
What They're Saying: David Wagner    
"It wasn't a surprise for me. I spoke with Jurgen Klinsmann maybe a year ago and ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives