Real Salt Lake 2022 Exit Interview Recap

Oct 20, 2022, 5:24 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2022, 2:23 pm
Real Salt Lake manager Pablo Mastroeni encourages his team from the sideline of America First Field on Sunday, October 9, against Portland Timbers. (Photo by Laura Dearden/Real Salt Lake)
(Photo by Laura Dearden/Real Salt Lake)

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake has concluded its first day of exit interviews where players endured meetings with the front office, coaching staff and the media.

The final day of exit interviews will occur on Friday, October 20. On Thursday, the media met with Justin Meram, Andrew Brody, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Justen Glad, Braian Ojeda, Jefferson Savarino, Marcelo Silva, Pablo Ruiz, Anderson Julio, and Maikel Chang.

Interesting Player Developments

The biggest news of the day came from players that did not meet with the media. Tate Schmitt, Nick Besler, and Bobby Wood all met with the front office and coaching staff but departed the facility before meeting with the media.

The club has not commented on the future of the players mentioned, but KSL Sports has confirmed that all three players are out of contract or have a team option for the 2023 season. Wood’s option is upwards of $1 million and given his recent injury issues it is likely that the club and his agent are trying to agree on a new contract due to the uncertainty of his health moving forward.

Besler, 29, and Schmitt, 25, may not be so fortunate. Both Besler and Schmitt struggled for playing time in 2022, however, the club will confirm roster moves via a press release within the next week.

Out Of Contract – Marcelo Silva

Other interesting developments included the discussion of Silva’s contract. Silva, 33, is another player out of contract entering the 2023 season but confirmed that his agent and the club are already negotiating a new deal.

Furthermore, Silva told the media that he is hopeful the new contract will ensure that he concludes his career at Real Salt Lake. He does not want to leave the club he has become so fond of.

On a similar note, Ojeda confirmed that he is hopeful his Real Salt Lake career will continue following his loan spell from Nottingham Forest which is scheduled to conclude in the summer of 2023.

The 22-year-old Paraguayan quickly solidified himself as one of the most important players on the roster despite joining the club late in the summer transfer window.

During the Austin FC versus Real Salt Lake playoff broadcast, ESPN commentator Taylor Twellman was quoted saying that Real Salt Lake should have “sent that cheque yesterday.”

Always Transparant Aaron Herrera

Herrera, who struggled to stay healthy throughout the 2022 season, vented his frustration with how the year played out for him personally. Specifically, because the 2021 campaign was a career-best season for Herrera who managed 10 assists two years ago. Nevertheless, Herrera is excited to return to full health and begin his pre-season endeavors.

Multiple players were asked what they would like to see the front office and coaching staff accomplish this upcoming off-season, and many players shared similar thoughts. Ultimately, the consensus from the playing group is that the club needs to continue to bring in quality players, specifically in the attacking third, to bolster its lack of goal-scoring ability that hampered the 2022 campaign.

“I like strikers that get visibly upset with themselves when they do not score enough goals during games, or even during training sessions,” Herrera said.

Anderson Julio Must Find More Starting Minutes

Julio has a monumental pre-season ahead of him. The speedy Ecuadorian acknowledged that he must find more minutes in 2023. Julio makes just shy of $1 million a year but is yet to receive frequent starts. His role since joining the team on loan a year ago has predominantly been off the bench. A player of his quality must be better utilized going forward.

Julio shared that he feels most comfortable at the point of the attack under Mastroeni. Look for Julio to be a prominent figure throughout pre-season headlining the attacking third.

KSL Sports will be present for Friday’s exit interviews. The club is scheduled to provide media availability beginning with general manager Elliot Fall and manager Pablo Mastroeni early in the day.

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Real Salt Lake 2022 Exit Interview Recap