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Real Salt Lake Terminates Contract Of General Manager Craig Waibel

Pregame activities before the International friendly game between Manchester United and Real Salt Lake were delayed due to inclement weather, which featured a double rainbow, at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 17, 2017 in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake has terminated the remainder of general manager Craig Waibel’s contract.

The club announced the decision to move on from Waibel as GM on Friday, September 27.

Waibel had managed RSL since August 2015.

“I would like to thank Dell Loy Hansen for the opportunities presented to me over the past six years. During this time, I have experienced an incredible amount of personal and professional growth and I am proud of the work we have accomplished,” said Waibel. “While I am stepping away to take some time to evaluate the next step in my career, I want to wish Dell Loy, the locker room, and most importantly, the fans nothing but the best in their pursuit of the 2019 MLS Cup.”

“I appreciate Craig coming to Real Salt Lake for the 2014 season as part of the coaching staff,” said Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen. “Craig oversaw the organization’s integration of the Real Monarchs, Utah Royals FC in the National Women’s Soccer League, and the relocation and expansion of the Real Salt Lake Academy, which now trains and plays at the Zions Bank Training Center in Herriman, Utah.  Craig has been instrumental in the Club’s rapid growth and I wish him success in the future.”

Waibel previously said that he would be leaving the club after the 2019 season according to documents filed in a lawsuit by former RSL head coach Mike Petke.

“Both Waibel and Zarkos also told Petke that they were no longer going to put up with Hansen’s conduct and that they had a plan to exit RSL after the season. Waibel then said, “It’ll be at the end of the year, because I also don’t think Dell Loy [Hansen] should ever be rewarded for who he is.” – Lawsuit filed by former RSL head coach Mike Petke

Petke was fired on August 11, 2019.

The club qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs twice under Waibel. RSL is still in playoff contention this season with two games remaining.

The team made it to the knockout round in Waibel’s first full season running the team in 2016. RSL made it further playoff push under the former GM when they made it to the Western Conference semifinals in 2018.

Real Salt Lake did not qualify for the playoffs in 2015 or 2017.

The franchise has not qualified for the CONCACAF Champions’ League each of the last four seasons.

Prior to being named General Manager, Waibel was promoted to RSL’s Technical Director in December 2014.