With Real Salt Lake drafting John Stertzer, a midfielder out of Maryland, and Devon Sandoval, a forward from New Mexico, RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey expressed his excitement for the potential the two players offer.
"We're really excited about both players, and we hope they come into camp and are in there competing from day one and hopefully and earn minutes," Lagerwey told RSL Communications following the draft.
#12: John Stertzer
Lagerwey said that John Stertzer, the club's #12 draft pick and a standout with Maryland, that the midfielder would come in to battle for first-team minutes alongside a young group of players.
"Stertzer is a guy we feel like can contribute for a long time, a real solid player potentially," he said. "We're excited to add another young, dynamic kid to our midfield — I feel like it will be a heck of a competition there this year. I feel like we've got six, seven of those guys who are just going to be battling every day to see who emerges and gets the minutes."
#29: Devon Sandoval
"We got deeper at forward, and I think that's really important," Lagerwey told RSL Communications. "He's a true number nine; you just don't find them very often among American domestic players."
As Sandoval trained with Real Salt Lake in 2012, the club was able to assess him on a personal level, Lagerwey said.
"He's a player who trained with us this summer we know very well; he has connections to one of our academy coaches, Freddy Juarez, so we know that he's a good person," Lagerwey said.
Drafting a player from a successful — if slightly under-the-radar — program at University of New Mexico helped guide the selection, Lagerwey said.
"I think we did a good job of scouting a program that's done very well recently in New Mexico — done really well for a long time — but we probably know better than most because they're in our neck of the woods," he said. "We're excited to get a New Mexico player specifically, and excited to get that type of forward who can be a true back up to Sabo given a couple years of grooming."
Although the selection of Sandoval brings Real Salt Lake back to three strikers on the roster, Lagerwey is still working to complete more signings.
"We're hopeful that we'll have potentially some other guys to announce here in the next week or so, next couple weeks, and that should complete our forward corps," he said. "We look at Sandoval as depth, and ideally, he's in there competing for minutes at fourth forward."