Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America 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
Valeri volleys a golazo on the run     
[VIDEO PICK: MLS Goals of the Week] Portland's Diego Valeri looks set to garner his third ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Sunday] No. 6 Washington rebounded from allowing an early goal to beat USF, 2-1, in ...
Howard gaffes cost Everton dearly at home    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Everton's defensive troubles in the English Premier League continued as it dropped a 3-2 ...
Toronto FC ends misery, extends Chivas USA's drought    
[MLS: Sunday] Chivas USA was just what Toronto FC needed to snap a six-game winless streak. ...
Banner year for MLS scoring    
[BY THE NUMBERS] MLS is enjoying its highest-scoring season since it began its expansion push a ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Sunday] Senior Sarah Killion tied a UCLA record with three assists in the game to ...
FC Edmonton puts itself in playoff mix    
[NASL: Fall Week 11] FC Edmonton jumped four teams in the fall standings, moving into third ...
What They're Saying: Alessandro Florenzi    
"It's not every day that an 82-year-old gets to the stadium. ... This goal is for ...
Wright-Phillips closes in on scoring record    
[MLS: Saturday] New York's Bradley Wright-Phillips is within three goals of the MLS record for goals ...
Lopez hat trick completes story-book ending    
[USL PRO: Semifinals] Sacramento Republic FC's magical season continued as Rodrigo Lopez scored a hat trick ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives