RSL GM Elliot Fall Yearning For Champions League Qualification In Orlando Tournament
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake is in the midst of planning to compete at the MLS Is Back tournament, a competition designed to slowly integrate professional soccer back into the spotlight in North America. RSL General Manager, Elliot Fall, is animated and excited to watch his roster compete for CONCACAF Champions League qualification, a feat they have not achieved since 2015-16.
“Some of the fondest memories that I have with the club were Champions League memories,” Fall said. “Playing down in Costa Rica and knocking Caprese out, going to the final. Hosting the second leg of the final, I mean it is just, that’s what it’s about.”
Furthermore, Fall is eager to watch his club go to battle against their MLS foe. With everything on the line following such a long and abrupt break due to the global pandemic.
— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) June 18, 2020
Youth Vs. Experience
However, arguably the most difficult part of Fall’s job is determining how much youth versus how much experience is required to best prepare the club to win now, but to also set themselves up for success in the future.
RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen has been very public regarding the importance the RSL Academy has within the organization. They strive to be world leaders in youth development. To find young, talented and determined teenagers from around the world and to grow them into world-class players is no easy feat.
To win in Major League Soccer, you cannot rely on a squad filled with 18 year-olds. There must be some maturity and experience to help guide the youth to victory.
With fans wanting big signings, yet ownership leaning towards developing young, somewhat no-name players, Fall must choose wisely as to who makes the first-team roster. Keeping fans happy is a priority, but pleasing the boss is also paramount.
“You want to sign young players, we want to bring in young players, we want to develop, but you have got to have professionals in the squad to show them the way, show them how to be a pro, show them how to win,” Fall said. “Nobodies academy in the United States has been around long enough to have those professionals be your homegrown players. We are getting there.”
"We play with a chip on our shoulder." pic.twitter.com/i2B0gqjXAR
— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) June 15, 2020
MLS Is Back Tournament
The MLS Is Back tournament will begin on July 8. Real Salt Lake is in a Group D alongside rivals Colorado, Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United. The group stage matches will have regular-season point ramifications on the line, the top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout rounds and compete for CONCACAF Champions League qualification.
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.
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