Craig Waibel has been a busy man these past four to six weeks, taking over as technical director with the departure of Garth Lagerwey. Who can blame him? He went from a coach to a technical director in a flash when Lagerwey agreed a deal with Seattle Sounders.
"It's been busy, it's been enjoyable, it's been overwhelming," he told reporters on Saturday. "There's more to this job than just putting the players on the roster."
Those surface-view moves and actions are certainly the most exposed to fans, but Waibel said it's a lot more than just that.
"There are a lot of other things that go into it, a lot of other decisions to be made, a lot of salary cap issues — a lot of general understanding that really only translates to the performance on Saturday night."
Transitioning from a coaching role to a technical director role, for Waibel, means a learning curve that takes some time to overcome.
"I've really been enjoying learning and I'm still in the process of learning, and I will be for a while," he said. "It's not easy for a while. There are a lot of rules."
As for the tricky matter of the Carlos Salcedo saga, which Waibel was thrust in the middle of when taking the job, he emphasized that it was about more than just making the player happy, despite that being an important part of the move.
"I'm very happy that we were able once again to accommodate a player's essential desires within the sport and professionally," Waibel said. "I don't want everyone to think I was nice about it. There was a definite possibility that Carlos would have been sitting out and not playing soccer at all. I have a cold part of my heart as well."
And for as much as Garth Lagerwey was sometimes cast as the puppet master of Real Salt Lake, whether that was the case or not, Waibel said he's not in some dictatorial role when it comes to roster-building.
"We're all at the table when we're making decisions, but ultimately, it comes back to mine," he said. "I'm not going to pretend like I'm the guy that sits there and pulls all the strings. In the end they're my decisions, but we have a lot of input on all these guys."