Real Salt Lake Retains General Manager Craig Waibel

Dec 28, 2018, 10:04 AM | Updated: 10:45 am
Craig Waibel, Real Salt Lake general manager, talks about a new National Women's Soccer League team...
Craig Waibel, Real Salt Lake general manager, talks about a new National Women's Soccer League team in Utah during a press conference at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake has announced that the club has retained General Manager Craig Waibel with a new multi-year contract.

Since Waibel’s first full season as General Manager, RSL has reached the postseason in two of the last three years. The club has also increased their win total in each season since Waibel’s appointment as GM in 2015.

“In speaking with Craig about the future of the club, we are collectively very optimistic and excited about the direction of RSL,” Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen said.  “We share the same commitment to creating the best Academy and player development system in MLS and Craig has been successful in advancing that vision while signing key international players that create a playoff side.  We are excited about the future of Real Salt Lake.”

Waibel joined RSL to originally join the coaching staff prior to the 2014 season. After his first season, he was promoted to Technical Director and then General Manager, RSL reached the postseason in 2016 and 2018.

“I want to thank Mr. Hansen for putting the faith and trust in me over the last four years and continues to put in me moving forward.  I’ve learned a lot in my time with RSL about how to build a team that is reflective of our club’s vision and the passion of our fanbase,” Waibel said.  “We will continue to pursue the perfect storm where every movement of the team on and off the field is representative of the character of the fans that have been so supportive of Real Salt Lake since the inception.  Together we will define the identity of who we are as a club on the pitch, in the stands and in the community.”

Over the last four seasons, RSL has seen an increase in player development, including six products of the Real Salt Lake Academy receiving significant playing time during the 2018 season. RSL Homegrown players accounted for 10,826 minutes during the regular season, which is most of any team in Major League Soccer.

This month, two of those players that include defender Justen Glad and forward Corey Baird received call-ups to the U.S. National Team camp in January. Baird was also awarded the 2018 MLS Rookie of the Year, which is the first player in club history to achieve that honor.

Real has signed 10 Homegrown players in the last four years, continuing their philosophy of developing players within the organization. Waibel has signed key players that include midfielder Albert Rusnak, forward Jefferson Savarino, midfielder Damir Kreilach and defenders Marcelo Silva and Nedum Onuoha.

Prior to Real Salt Lake, Waibel played in Major League Soccer for 12 years with stops with the LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes and Houston Dynamo. He has won four MLS Cup titles, one Supporters’ Shield and one Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship.

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