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Real Salt Lake Will Likely Be Without A Designated Player For The 2021 Season

Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will likely only have two designated players (DP’s) on its roster for the 2021 season, leaving the club shy of the three designated player cap.

The current DP’s are Albert Rusnak and Jeizon Ramirez. The third was Sam Johnson, however, Johnson and the club parted ways after reports surfaced suggesting Johnson violated the league’s COVID-19 protocols by hosting a house party.

Disgraced Owner

Furthermore, current owner Dell Loy Hansen is in the midst of actively trying to sell the club. The likelihood of Hansen putting potentially millions of dollars back into the organization to purchase a third DP is highly unlikely. All of the funding has been put on a temporary hold while Hansen sells.

Hansen’s frugal nature has handicapped the club in more ways than any fan could possibly realize. His constant neglect for the transfer market is a direct result of the disapointing play on the pitch.

All of this following a season in which RSL finished second-to-last in the Western Conference. The club is desperate for new faces that can excite and reenergize the roster and coaching staff.

It is becoming more apparent that the league will likely take over the sale of the club on January 8th. Leaving RSL will very little, if any, time to finalize a deal for a third DP before next season begins.

The Competition

The importance of utilizing your three designated player roster spots is crucial for the success of any MLS team. Take LAFC as an example, Diego Rossi, Brian Rodriguez and Carlos Vela combined for 20 goals and 12 assists during the shortened 2020 regular season. The Seattle Sounders designated players of Nicolás Lodeiro, João Paulo, and Raúl Ruidíaz combined for 21 goals and 19 assists.

Dark Future

To put that into perspective, Jeizon Ramirez, Albert Rusnak and Sam Johnson before he was released had a combined 4 goals and 2 assists.

The entire RSL team only scored 25 goals in 2020.

It is no secret that the best teams in the league make the most of their designated player roster spots.

RSL has struggled to find designated players that live up to the expectation and consequently the club has fallen further and further down the Western Conference standings.

Expect 2021 to be no different. It is hard to picture a dismantled club with one less lethal weapon than the rest to make any sort of playoff run.