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What To Expect This Off Season From Real Salt Lake

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)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – This off-season will look and feel different than any that has come before for Real Salt Lake as they attempt to regain their spot in the 2021 playoff race.

Amidst a global pandemic with an owner that is actively trying to sell the franchise, what do you need to keep an eye out for over the coming weeks and months?

Options

Firstly, RSL will make a number of decisions on whether to pick up the option on a player’s salary. Diego Rossi, for example, has a team option on the 2021 season. The club will make a decision on whether they re-sign Rossi or let him go. Rossi, along with many other players, will know of their fate over the coming weeks.

Kyle Beckerman

Kyle Beckerman is, once again, out of contract with the club that he has spent the previous 14 seasons with. Beckerman, 38, signed a one-year extension with the club in January of 2020. However, his role throughout the 2020 season was predominantly located on the bench. The veteran also suffered multiple soft muscle injuries that hampered his 2020 campaign.

Scouting

It is undetermined how the club is going to handle the scouting department during the off-season. As previously reported, all financial budgets have been frozen due to the impending sale of the club. Dell Loy Hansen will likely not want to sign any big names while he is in the process of finding a new suitor to take over ownership.

However, with Sam Johnson exiting the club, RSL would preferably like to fill a vacant Designated Player position left by Johnson.

Nedum Onuoha retired at the season’s end, also leaving a hole in the RSL roster. Will they be able to bring in an established center-back to fill the void left by Onuoha? Or will they rely on their younger, less experienced players such as Erik Holt to play a bigger role in 2021?

Job Security

Assuming Hansen sells the club at some point during the off-season, how will the new ownership handle certain job titles. Is Freddy Juarez safe for another season at RSL? Or will they look to bring in a manager that is a proven commodity?

The front office, led by General Manager Elliot Fall, could also do with new faces. The RSL front office has notoriously been one of the smaller departments in the league. If you want to compete against the best teams in the land, the front office could certainly do with some more brainpower.