On April 4, 2014, Real Salt Lake signed a versatile defender in Justen Glad, who consequently became the seventh Homegrown Player in club history.
Glad, a 17 year-old Tucson native, joined the RSL Academy in 2012 and helped the RSL U-16s to the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy National Championship and then scored the match-winning goal. While there, Glad was also named to the USSDA Western Conference "Starting XI." Becoming an experienced U.S. youth international, Glad became an U.S. U-17 regular after joining the RSL Academy, and has since been capped for the U-18 team. Glad is a capable defender at playing any of the spots on the backline and defensive midfield.
There has been speculation that he will be groomed to be Beckerman's replacement, and with his quality at reading a game it could be true. Furthermore at 6-feet tall, Glad makes a demonstrative obstacle for any opponent.
Glad trained with the RSL first-team the entire 2014 preseason and made an appearance against Sacramento FC. While impressive during the friendly with the USL Pro side, Glad has yet to make an appearance for the first-team. One of the youngest MLS players at the time of his signing, Glad has massive potential. Whether he will stay on the backline or migrate to the midfield will be something to watch.
Other RSL Soapbox writers say...
Matt Montgomery says: Watching Justen Glad in reserves matches and friendlies shows he's probably first-team ready, and while he's being pegged as a Real Monarchs player, I wouldn't be surprised to see him get first-team minutes early in 2015.
Editor's note: This is part of a series of player profiles recapping the 2014 season and previewing the 2015 season. Player ratings were compiled via a vote by RSL Soapbox writers. Statistics are via mlssoccer.com.