Real Salt Lake Manager Freddy Juarez Must Adapt Following Poor Debut Year At The Helm

Dec 17, 2020, 3:58 PM
Photo Courtesy: Real Salt Lake...
Photo Courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake manager Freddy Juarez enters the 2021 season on a short leash after a 2020 campaign that ended on a sour note.

Freddy Juarez looked like he had RSL humming throughout the early stages of the 2020 season, but as the year went on, the results began to dwindle. The style and manner in which RSL played their soccer slowly became less identifiable.

Furthermore, the year 2020 brought challenges that nobody was expecting, including Juarez. On top of a global pandemic, Juarez and his staff were dealt with scandals surrounding the culture of the club following allegations against owner Dell Loy Hansen and Chief Business Officer Andy Carrol.

The players and coaches did a tremendous job dodging questions related to the controversy, however, when you review the season in its entirety, the off the pitch misconduct most certainly played a role in the demise of RSL’s 2020 season.

Hopefully, 2021 will be a smoother and less chaotic journey for Juarez and his team. A new owner is expected to take over the reins prior to the opening game and Juarez is in the midst of hiring two assistant coaches.

New faces will grace the organization. New ideas, concepts, and strategies will be enforced.

A breath of fresh air will peacefully flow throughout the club’s facility, hopefully.

Make no mistake, however, Juarez enters 2021 on thin ice. The once proud, MLS Cup-winning club, will not tolerate another year in which they finish towards the bottom of the Western Conference.

It is playoffs or bust for Juarez in 2021.

Moreover, Juarez must make the playoffs if he hopes to keep his job and he must do it with a roster that will not drastically change.

The front office, led by General Manager Elliot Fall, does not have the funds or ownership backing to turn over the roster and start from scratch. Fall has stated in previous interviews that they (RSL) will likely not sign a Designated Player, despite releasing Sam Johnson on October 31st.

The front office does have discretionary funds that they can use to purchase players. International roster spots are still available and the front office is working tirelessly to address the positions in need.

Nonetheless, Juarez learnt a lot during his debut season in charge. The ups and downs, ebbs and flows of managing a professional soccer team throughout a global pandemic and multiple off-the-pitch club-related scandals.

But now he must implement those lessons learnt by re-vitalizing the dressing room and giving the players a belief that they can win.

The fanbase is pleading for their beloved club to return to its winning ways.

2021 will be the year in which the club reveals its true colours. If Juarez is up for the challenge then RSL will return to the playoffs, the roster is good enough, and if they do not then a worldwide search will take place for his replacement.

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