If you couldn't tell, 2014 was a hellishly busy year for Real Salt Lake, despite no personnel changes taking place. While blowing up a team and building a new one would be busy, it's a different sort of busy. This was more 'maintenance' busy, and it was a little stressful.
Let's go through and talk about everything that happened. Maybe it'll be therapeutic.
Just before 2014 started
Jason Kreis left for
parts unknown New York City FC. Miles Joseph left with him. CJ Brown left for Chicago (and then left for New York City FC). Jeff Cassar didn't. Andy Williams didn't.
And there we have it. Jeff Cassar moves from assistant to coach. Andy Williams stayed as an assistant.
Oh, and we signed Jordan Allen. Awesome.
2014 starts off with some movement
Two weeks later, Luke Mulholland joined us, and he used an international roster spot. (Not any more, though.) That sort of defined our midfield in 2014. Mulholland-Grabavoy was all the rage.
Oh, and then we didn't sign anybody else until April, when we picked up Justen Glad.
And then we played some games and stuff
Somehow, we went a lot of games unbeaten to start the season. To be precise: 12. That's pretty good in MLS. Like, a record-tying feat. (LA Galaxy did it in 2010, too.) We had six wins and six draws, though, and maybe that wasn't quite as good despite still being not so bad. (A middling undefeated streak? Sounds a bit like looking a gift horse in the mouth.)
Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando went to the World Cup
That World Cup thing happened, and Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando went for the United States of America. Beckerman even played some games, and then he didn't play the last game and we lost. Hmm. (Really though, he'd started all three group stage games and looked great. And then he somehow didn't start. Jurgen Klinsmann deserved coal in his stocking.)
Alvaro Saborio didn't
:( (insert relevant emoji here)
Broken foot. Of all the times, right? He's back now, but still. Sad.
We signed a couple youngsters
Justen Glad and Sebastian Saucedo both joined Real Salt Lake, with Saucedo a 2015 roster addition and Glad on the books for 2014. Effectively, this just meant that Glad could play in ticketed friendlies (glorified reserves matches), and Saucedo couldn't. Throughout, Glad looked pretty great, and he hadn't even finished high school. He'll be 18 next year.
We also signed a striker
After some of our strikers couldn't score, we went out and collected a new one to do our bidding. Sebastian Jaime joined the team and we looked better for it, even if he didn't really play all that much or score a goal. (Although, to be honest, his role in Javier Morales's olimpico shouldn't go unrecognized.)
We fell apart in the playoffs
I still don't want to talk about it, but we lost pretty poorly to that LA Galaxy side with the retiring dude.
Lagerwey left us
Nobody wanted it to come to this, but Garth Lagerwey left. Or is officially leaving today. One of those things. Up steps Craig Waibel from his coaching position, and now he's the 'technical director' or some such term of art. Anyway, yeah, he's our guy.
Jason Kreis came back ... for our players
Ned Grabavoy, Chris Wingert and Sebastian Velasquez both left for New York City. So did Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Josh Saunders. Really, it's like half our team is there now. Sigh.
Then we got rid of a few more
Rich Balchan, Aaron Maund, and Benji Lopez all had their options declined. So did Robbie Findley, but he landed in Toronto in the re-entry draft. Nat Borchers was traded to Portland.
And then we added another defender
JAMISON OLAVE RETURNS. COOL.
Oh, and Carlos Salcedo wanted to leave
You know, we can't get through a day without talking about this. He'll probably get his wish.
And here we are
2014 was some year, wasn't it? I'm excited for 2015. Maybe we can not lose in the playoffs. (Sigh.) Let's just get excited, yeah? Yeah? Alright.