Editor's note: This says it's by me, Matt Montgomery. That's not true. It's by one of our fine writers, Weston Jenson.
Yesterday, Major League Soccer released its list of players eligible for the 2015 Re-Entry Draft a little more than 24 hours after the Portland Timbers took home the trophy.
The list consists of 60 players that will be available during Friday’s conference call between the clubs. Accompanying this list was the first-ever list of MLS free agents. These league veterans will have the ability to start negotiating with any club starting today.
The only Real Salt Lake player on either list is Chris Schuler, who is currently out of contract, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is going anywhere.
After missing the post-season for the first time in eight years, the Claret-and-Cobalt are set to continue the rebuilding process that begun last year. An integral part of rebuilding in this league has always been the re-entry draft. Take, for example, the 2014 D.C. United side, Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, and ex-RSLer Fabian Espindola, all drafted in the re-entry process, became an integral part of the then Eastern Conference powerhouse.
So, will RSL use the draft to rebuild? Well, that remains to be seen. but there are a few players that could prove useful for the side.
On Friday, let us assume that RSL will skip the entire stage one portion of the re-entry draft. This is due to the fact that clubs that select players during this round will have to extend a "Bona Fide Offer" to the drafted player akin to his 2015 salary range.
Instead, RSL could benefit from stage two of the process when drafting clubs are able to negotiate terms with the player for a new contract. This is where RSL could excel and not break the bank.
As, RSL has one of the strongest goalkeeping corps in the league don’t expect the club to add any kind of net-minder, especially in this draft. On the other hand, RSL’s now battered defensive line is due for a fresh injection of talent.
This draft, however, seems a little bit slim in the defense department. While Steven Beitashour might look like the only real tempting offer, don’t expect RSL to pursue the 28 year-old fullback. This is because not only is RSL still in negotiations with recently declined Demar Phillips, but RSL has great talent in both Tony Beltran and Jordan Allen, who are both starting-caliber fullbacks. But Beitashour could potentially be an option.
Similarly in the midfield, RSL does not appear to benefit from many players on the list. Rather they are too old or simply under-performing, RSL looks to avoid this year’s midfield corps of the re-entry draft entirely. That being said, however, doesn’t mean that Real Monarchs would not benefit from names like Carlos Alvarez or Michael Nanchoff, but that door will only open if those players are not picked up by other clubs in the draft.
OK, so here is where it gets interesting. Despite the Claret-and-Cobalt having five strikers/wingers already on its roster for the 2016 season, there is one name that might pique the interest of a few supporters and coaches. Maximiliano Urruti, formerly of the MLS Cup winning Portland Timbers, has parted ways with the club due to salary cap limitations. In essence, Portland has been paying top dollar for two number 9 strikers in Urruti and Fanendo Adi.
While his addition would mean that Urruti is on his third team in as many years, the young Argentine could be a great addition to RSL’s growing Argentinian Corps, if not its South American core — Javier Morales, Joao Plata, Sebastian Jaime, Juan Manuel ‘El Burrito’ Martinez, Adolfo ‘Fito’ Ovalle and Olmes Garcia.
Drafting him in the second stage would allow RSL to negotiate with the young attacker and if the club could get him for the right price he may prove to be a valuable asset. This is also contingent also on the club’s dealings with Yura Movsisyan. If Movsisyan is to return to RSL as the rumblings have it, Urruti at any cost is just too much. If Movsisyan does not return, however, the Portland’s ex-number 9 could be just what the doctor ordered.