Real Salt Lake Remembers John Genna

Aug 6, 2023, 2:59 PM | Updated: 6:56 pm


RSL VP of Communications and Public Relations John Genna (Courtesy of Real Salt Lake)

(Courtesy of Real Salt Lake)

SALT LAKE CITYReal Salt Lake remembered and honored the life of the club’s VP of communications and public relations John Genna.

On August 5, Genna passed away at the age of 56 years old.

Genna was diagnosed with ALS, a progressive neurological disease also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in July 2022. The disease is terminal and has no known cure.

RELATED: Real Salt Lake VP Of Communications & PR Diagnosed With ALS

“His legacy will be remembered more than positively. At Real Salt Lake, his legacy will be remembered forever,” Real Salt Lake shared after Genna’s passing. “John is still somewhere smiling, laughing, and wanting you to know that despite what he was up against, what matters to him now is how you’re doing, and that you know he still loves you.”

“I want my legacy to be that I can impact the research,” Genna said before his passing. “That one day the next person that comes after me and the doctor opens his mouth and says ‘you have ALS’ they don’t have that sinking feeling that I had. That’s what I want to make my legacy.”

Last season, Real Salt Lake players wore “Genna Strong” patches during the team’s regular season finale.

Earlier this season, RSL hosted its second consecutive ALS awareness night. Throughout the 2023 campaign, Real Salt Lake head coach Pablo Mastroeni has sported a “Genna Strong” shirt during matches and postgame press conferences. Mastroeni also had Genna speak to the team before a match last season.

“Unbeknownst to him, a lot of our conversations were carried into the locker room. I think he is a big part of the way I wish to lead and the leader I wish to become,” Mastroeni said of Genna.

Over the past six seasons, Genna worked for the club he loved.

“Keep loving this team because that love comes back in spades,” said Genna.

Rest in Peace, John Genna.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for He’s also co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on X/Twitter (@kyleireland), Instagram (@kyleirelandksl), and Threads (@kyleirelandksl).

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Real Salt Lake Remembers John Genna