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Henry, Ronaldinho, but who will Real Salt Lake get?

Robbie and Alvaro
Robbie and Alvaro

So yesterday on RSL's home on the radio KALL 700, Real's majority owner Dave Checketts was the "big interview" of the day. During that interview Dave did everything but issue a press release, in saying that another huge DP would be signed (not by RSL) but by the LA Galaxy. If you take what Dave said, with what Spencer said, you come up with the reality that many have been speculating about for awhile.

Ronaldinho will be coming to Major League Soccer and joining the LA Galaxy. I actually think this is a great thing, it will be nice to see him, Beckham, and Landycakes crying together as we beat them at Rio Tinto Stadium in the Western Conference final. As long as all the transactions are done within the current rule, I love that there are owners and organizations with deep enough pockets to spend big money.

When you consider that 18.9 million people watched the US vs. Ghana match, and over 23 million watched the World Cup in the United States, there may be no better time for those owners who can to reach deep and do what they can to keep that momentum going. "Striking while the iron is hot" is a sound way to take advantage of a good situation. So we have seen a number of teams add new DP's and while few can get the headlines of Thierry Henry or Ronaldinho, they still represent a big risk for teams, as not all have been able to adjust to MLS. So who is here already:

So only a few teams have dipped their toes into that market, but with the benchmark dropping from $415,000 to $335,000 to be considered a DP, there will likely be more DP's coming. In yesterday's interview Dave Checketts was quick to point out that the new DP isn't coming to Real Salt Lake, but does that mean that Real Salt Lake isn't going to have a DP soon?

RSL GM Garth Lagerwey has said he expects little action to be taken by RSL during the transfer window, and who can blame him as the team is 9-3-3 2nd best in the league, leads the league in goals scored and has the second fewest goals allowed in the league. Does this mean that they aren't working on anything? I don't think so.

I believe RSL is face with the reality that they will have to have a DP soon, The question is who will it be, I believe it comes down to two players:

In the last year of his contract and with an agent who just last year moved Yura Movsisyan to Europe despite a very good offer from Real Salt Lake and when RSL made an offer to Robbie in the off season his agent made it clear that he wanted to (and is likely doing it right now) shop his client around Europe. Robbie is the type of player MLS should be trying to keep young (24), talented (24 goals and 13 assists since joining RSL), and with a great personality, he could easily be a poster child for MLS.
He has established himself with the USMNT, and despite his many critics for not scoring (not sure how many goals our other forwards had), he ranked in the middle of the pack of all forwards playing in the World Cup according to the Castrol Index. It is clear that it will likely take a deal in excess of a million dollar over the next 4 years to keep Robbie in Salt Lake City, he has a huge upside. Can Real Salt Lake afford not to make a run at keeping their all time leading scorer, and potential USMNT star?

Alvaro Saborio,
Of all the new players to come into MLS this spring, few have made the instant impact that Saborio has. He is on loan from FC Sion, who I am sure will be looking for some type of compensation to make the loan a permanent transfer. Real Salt Lake has been bitten by players from Central America who have come in and for one reason or another failed to deliver on the pitch, that hasn't been the case for Saborio. The 29 year old joined the team and has worked as hard as anyone in practices and to become part of the team. Alvaro made these comments upon joining RSL:
"I'm excited to join Real Salt Lake and look forward to a great season ahead," said Saborío. "I'm busy learning about the other players, the coaching staff and the way the club functions, and once I become comfortable in the team I expect good things to happen."

Good things have happened as Alvaro has found the back of the net 7 times and added 4 assists, he has quickly become the target of choice for Real Salt Lake, who boast the most productive offense in Major League Soccer. To keep a player who is likely to be getting more time with the Costa Rican National team, isn't going to be cheap but it is rare that a player has come into MLS and adjusted to both a new team and new league so quickly, it won't be any cheaper finding someone to replace him.


Having to chose between a guy who already has made a huge impact for your team, including scoring the goal that evened the score in MLS Cup and is your leading scorer in just 2 1/2 years, and a incredible talent who could become one of the best pure strikers to grace MLS pitches in some time. I say don't make the choice, the league says you have two DP slots that you can use, and if you want to show the fans we don't need a big name superstar to be the best team in MLS going forward, then sign both and make it clear that Real Salt Lake is a team that is more concerned about results than media coverage.