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Midweek Mailbag: Ownership, trophies, depth and more

Another week, another midweek mailbag: Readers sent in their questions about Real Salt Lake and surrounding issues. Read on. Any questions? Ask for next week in the comments — or now, if you can't wait that long.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

l.tyler.mix asks: Dave Checketts sold the team to Dell Loy Hansen at the beginning of this season. Have you seen or heard how the ownership change is making a difference?

There are always questions when ownership changes, and there were certainly some fears when Hansen came into full ownership. But so far, everything's been positive, from chartered jets when necessary, possible and particularly important, to stadium-wide wifi access. He's paid off debts and we're in a better financial position, and we've impacted the community in a positive way. Most importantly to the club - in my view - he's committed to going forward with an academy setup in Utah, and that's going to be great for our long-term development. It's not cheap.

Jerrard Pullum (@jpullum31) asks: With 10 games to go and 41 points in hand, what are the chances of @RealSaltLake winning the Supporter's Shield this year?

RSL actually responded to this with a very good link, so let's go there first. You'll see our current Supporter's Shield statistical odds are at 27 percent. That's not at all tacked on, but hey, it's a nice little thing. We've also got 97.5 percent odds of making the playoffs and have an 11.5 percent chance to win the MLS Cup. It's a pretty cool site, so do check it out.

Chez Green (@chezgreen21) has two questions: Thoughts on our center back situation once/if all of them are healthy. Salcedo #1? What about Schuler, McDonald, Watson-Siriboe, and Maund?

Salcedo, for me, has won the starting spot next to Nat Borchers. I haven't been shy about that point, so that's probably not surprising. In order, I suspect Schuler is the next in line (having lost it because of his injury but maybe not dropped substantially), with McDonald, Maund, and then Watson-Siriboe in the last spot. This is only because Kwame's out for the season and isn't a true representation of his value.

And his other question: Is this RSL season a success if we win 1 trophy out of the three possible or disappointment because of potential for more?

Short answer: Yes. That's a success to me. But it's not as much a success as it could be, because we're truly in competition for two trophies now, and one of them is ours to lose. I hope. Let's get that US Open Cup and talk more, yeah?

Dan Walker (@walkerjrz) asks two as well: Assuming we sign Ricardo Gardner, any areas of concern for depth?

I think we'll have basically obliterated our final depth concerns for the season, which isn't to say that we're perfect, but that we're going to deal well with short-term injuries, provided there aren't too many of them at once. But is Gardner necessary? I don't know. I do know I wrote about him today, though.

And his next question: What are the long term goals for Luis Gil and Enzo Martinez? Both young Generation Addidas players. Do they stay with RSL?

Actually, Luis Gil is no longer a Generation Adidas player, but that's a trifling point, because I think it actually makes it a little less likely that we keep him long-term. Let's talk about Enzo first: If he returns next season, I might be a little surprised. Clearly, it depends on his loan and how it goes, but that he hasn't played by now - nearly two years into his time here - doesn't speak well to his potential here. We might end up letting him loose on a voluntary basis.

Luis is a different bag: We don't really want to let him go - I'm sure of it. But if he has aspirations higher than MLS - and I bet he does - he could go abroad. Will that happen at the end of the season? I don't know. But I do believe his contract is over then.

@thesittingdan asks: Looking ahead to expansion draft, who are you most worried about losing on the team?

I'd almost forgotten about this. I hate this every time it happens, but it will happen once again, owing to the entrance of NYCFC into the league in 2015 (estimated). Thankfully, we're safe for now, but if it were to happen, I'd be worried about losing someone like Ned Grabavoy - though I doubt he's not in the protected list. Or perhaps we'd be worried about a young, talented player. Sebastian Velasquez, maybe? Scary thoughts.

Trent Cutler @firemywires asks: What is the status of RSL's injured players?

Chris Schuler is training again, though he's not yet in contention. I believe Rich Balchan's getting close to training again, and John Stertzer - I think - has been in light training. Other than that, we're remarkably free of major injuries. Who knew, huh?

@NussdorferAC asks: Against Houston, the top wings in the 4-3-3 were easily marked out by simply standing and waiting for the ball. How do you fix that?

Basically, they have to do exactly what they do in the 4-4-2 - they often play on the wing there and cut inside. They've got to make creative runs when they have the chance, but they also have to provide a short option for midfielders and act as connectors. Both need to be aware of defensive responsibilities, but they also need to be more creative in their thinking. As it's an unusual formation for us, I can understand why they fell short. I just hope for improvement.