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RSL's International Expansion

Real Salt Lake is taking full advantage of the new MLS rule allowing teams to have more than eight international players. Former GM Steve Pastorino says that as many as seven players who played outside the U.S. last year could start in RSL's season opener against the Chicago Fire on March 29. Two of them, Americans Ian Joy and Nat Borchers, played in Germany in Norway last season, three of them come from Argentina, one from Colombia, and one from Scotland.

The trend started when Coach Jason Kreis brought Argentine trio Matias Mantilla, Fabian Espindola and Javier Morales into the team late last season. That successful experiment led to the introduction of other foreigners, including Colombia's Jamison Olave and Scotland's Kenny Deuchar.

International investments like Jaime Moreno, Marco Etcheverry, Luciano Emilio and Christian Gomez have paid off handsomely for D.C. United, and Pastorino thinks this is a good model to follow. He points out that until recently, RSL preferred to gamble on young, inexperienced talent, instead of signing established professionals from places like Argentina and Brazil. Management seems to understand that to get better, fast, you have to import, not develop, talent. Of the new players, Pastorino says that Borchers and Deuchar could be the most influential.

Read the whole story at Salt Lake Tribune »

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