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Why Real Salt Lake signed a midfielder in MLS Draft

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Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports

Why did Real Salt Lake draft a midfielder? That's a cry that's done the rounds on social media, and whether the concern is justified or not, it's at least worth talking about it.

Going into 2016, Real Salt Lake is sitting with somewhat of a deficit in the midfield. To really spell out how much of a deficit there is, let's just go over the group.

Kyle Beckerman

Luke Mulholland

John Stertzer

Fito Ovalle

Jordan Allen

Javier Morales

Now, you could stretch and say that Danny Acosta is a potential defensive midfielder, but he's also played more as a defender — and he's a first-year homegrown player, so expecting minutes out of him regularly is a stretch at the very least.

Additionally, Fito Ovalle is still very young, and he's not match-proven yet — and it's not that he can't be, but that he's at the back of the line in the depth chart at this point.

Jordan Allen, too, can also be played as a defender or a wide forward (or attacking midfielder, if you want to split hairs), and that makes it hard to look at him as a dedicated midfielder for the depth chart.

What do we have left? Beckerman, Mulholland, Stertzer, and Morales. That's beyond insane to start a season. It leaves with only one real option if you want to play a four-man midfield, and two injuries absolutely devastates the team's depth.

Now, Real Salt Lake can at least toss Omar Holness into the mix. That brings things closer to parity. At least we'd generally have one backup for each starter, and that's a good start.

There is, of course, the ongoing concern that Real Salt Lake is light on central defenders (Olave, Maund, Glad, Kavita, Acosta), but that's also kind of not true — it's just that they're light on excellent, start-ready defenders. With that the case, the team has to be picky. If they just add another draft pick, they're in the same position they were in before, just with another player at the back end of the depth chart.