SANDY, Utah – It has been a long time coming. Spencer Warne and I have been wanting Elliot Fall on the podcast for a while. Well, the time has finally come and we are excited for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy our latest episode with Fall as we discuss how his first handful of months have been, his expectations for when the season returns, how RSL are going to score more goals and much, much more!
The conversation started with Fall trying to answer who his favorite RSL player of all time is.
“I am honestly not doing this to dodge the question, but I think there can’t be one answer to that question,” Fall said. “There are a handful of guys in the history of this club that have left indelible and long-lasting imprints on the trajectory of the club…Kyle Beckerman, of course, Javier Morales, Nick Rimando and Jason Kreis. Without any one of those people, you do not have RSL as we know RSL, and you don’t have the heights that we have reached and the sustained success that we have enjoyed without any one of them.”
Bringing Beckerman into the conversation brought us to our next subject. For those that are unaware, Fall took over as the full-time general manager “sometime in September” of 2019. During his first off-season, he was tasked with trying to re-sign Kyle Beckerman and come to an agreement on terms as Beckerman’s contract was up following the conclusion of the 2019 season.
“We had some hurdles to clear in the first off-season, although, I don’t know if there is ever going to be an off-season where you don’t have significant hurdles,” Fall stated. “I know Kyle as a person, and he is a good person and he is a great leader and he has done unbelievable things for this club. In conversations internally we were able to decide really quickly that we wanted Kyle back.”
Fall would continue to add that it was difficult at first. Simply because when the season came to an end Fall and Freddy Juarez (current head coach) were both in their respective roles on an interim basis. Then, when they were both finally awarded their full-time responsibilities they were faced with the holiday season, which prolongs talks and discussions as the world comes to a halt to celebrate Christmas and New Years with their loved ones and families. Fall admits that the timing of the deal with everything that was going on made it “appear to drag out longer than what it needed to.”
“Tony Beltran (assistant GM) and I went and had a couple meetings with Kyle and just laid out the plan. Kyle had a decision to make too. This was not just us deciding if we wanted to bring Kyle back, it was also did Kyle want to come back. Kyle was a free agent, what does Kyle want to do with his career?”
They were eventually able to come to terms with the long time RSL and MLS legend. Beckerman returned for his 20th MLS season.
How Will RSL Score More Goals In 2020?
It was well documented that when Freddy Juarez took over as the manager midway through the 2019 season, RSL turned themselves into a defensive juggernaut. They were the best defensive team in the league, however, they still struggled to put the ball into the back of the net as often as they would like.
Fall admitted that having a good balance between young and old players has a big role to play when it comes to being able to build chemistry on the pitch, specifically in the attacking third. RSL brought in Giussepe Rossi, Justin Meram among others to help counter the youth project RSL has been working on for many years now.
“You have to have balance when you’re building a roster,” said Fall. “It can’t be all young players, it cannot be all 15-year-veterans, you cant have success either way. You have to have a balance.”
Tony Beltran’s Input
Fall admitted that Beltran is obsessed with Harry Potter. That was after I called Beltran a “wizard” for how professional he is. His ability to write, talk and conduct himself in a manner that is rarely seen makes him different, different in a good way.
Fortunately, the addition of Beltran to the front office has been splendid, according to Fall. They see similar traits and tendencies when breaking down scouting film. They both know the direction they want the club to take and are hand-in-hand working on making that happen.
The Lion’s Den is an insider’s look at the Claret-and-Cobalt, hosted by KSL Sports personality Tom Hackett and RSL radio personality Spencer “The Guv” Warne. The podcast features exclusive access to players and Real Salt Lake personnel. Hackett and Warne talk soccer both inside and outside the state of Utah, while discussing aspects of the game both on and off the pitch. Join Hackett and ‘Spenno’ each week as they talk all things RSL.
Tom Hackett is a Utah and Real Salt Lake Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the It’s Utah’s World Podcast (Utah Football themed) and The Lion’s Den Podcast (Real Salt Lake themed). Follow him on Twitter: @TomCantHackett.