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RSL still awaiting Pedro Baez arrival, Waibel praises signing’s soccer IQ

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Portugal v Paraguay - Toulon Tournament Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Real Salt Lake’s effort to bring in Pedro Baez seems to be reaching a fruitful conclusion in short order, with the 19-year-old Paraguayan striker already having received his P-1 visa.

RSL general manager Craig Waibel told Real Salt Lake’s radio show and podcast OnFrame that the team is looking to get Baez into the team sooner rather than later.

“The timeline obviously, we don’t publicize everything, but the P-1 visa got approved last week,” he said. “He’s scheduled to be in a meeting this week to get his visa and his passport; as he has that, he’ll be on the next flight, believe me.”

Waibel also elaborated on some of the qualities that attracted the team toward Baez, citing a “high soccer IQ” and his technical ability.

He’s a young boy, he’s 19, but he’s got the body of a man. He’s talented, he’s technical, he’s very — if you can talk about different styles of play — plays a very Latin style. Very technical, high soccer IQ, his movement off the ball — the way he sees space on the field is very unique.

We’re so excited to get him here and just see how he translates. It’s always fun when you get a young guy and you’re not sure which way it’s going to go, but he has all the tools to really mix in and have an impact pretty quickly.

It remains to be seen, however, what sort of impact Baez can have on the team during a short-term loan. Still, that loan move may be largely a mechanism to give Real Salt Lake the flexibility to bring him in on a long term contract should he integrate well.

Finding minutes will be a difficult thing, though, with Olmes Garcia adapting surprisingly well to the central attacking position in recent weeks and Yura Movsisyan returning to full fitness.