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Who should top 1,000 minutes for Real Salt Lake in 2017?

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Appearing for at least 1000 minutes in a season is a measurable goal for young players. Who might reach that level in 2017 as RSL retools the first team?

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Sporting KC Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

As we move away from the SuperDraft and into preseason let's take a look into the crystal ball and make some predictions about the RSL players we would like to see have more than 1000 minutes on the field for RSL in the 2017 season. To give you all an idea of what a 1000 minute season seems like, consider Jordan Allen who made 24 appearances for a total of 1116 minutes and Olmes Garcia who made 25 appearances for a total of 1054 minutes in 2016.

During the 2016 season, which the coaches and staff have admitted did not see enough rotation of players, RSL had a total of 16 players with at least 1000 minutes across all competitions (arranged in order of minutes played)

  1. Nick Rimando (2790 minutes)
  2. Juan Martinez (2579 minutes)
  3. João Plata (2568 minutes)
  4. Justen Glad (2514 minutes)
  5. Tony Beltran (2468 minutes)
  6. Kyle Beckerman (2457 minutes)
  7. Demar Phillips (2268 minutes)
  8. Javier Morales (2249 minutes)
  9. Yura Movsisyan (2197 minutes)
  10. Luke Mulholland (2048 minutes)
  11. Aaron Maund (1746 minutes)
  12. Jámison Olave (1482 minutes)
  13. Chris Wingert (1587 minutes)
  14. Stephen Sunday (1205 minutes)
  15. Jordan Allen (1116 minutes)
  16. Olmes Garcia (1054 minutes)

Barring injury, and additional signings yet unknown, here are my bold predictions. Feel free to express yours in the comments below.

Goalkeeper

While Nick Rimando will continue to see the bulk of the minutes, I would like to see Matt van Oekel to make a run for 1000 minutes across all competitions. Attinella had only 360 minutes in 2016, which is too few. Two or three starts in an extended US Open Cup run and another five or six during the season should get him close.

Defense

Justen Glad, Aaron Maund, and Chris Schuler should all receive somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 minutes with a regular starting rotation among the three center backs. Tony Beltran and Demar Phillips should receive 2000 minutes while Danilo Acosta and Chris Wingert should get at least 1000 each as back ups on the right and left side.

Midfield

Albert Rusnak will be the recipient of the bulk of Morales’s 2249 minutes and rightfully so. I would drop Kyle Beckerman down to around 2000 minutes and increase Omar Holness up to around 2000 minutes. Stephen Sunday and Luke Mulholland should easily break 1500 minutes as replacements or infrequent starters. If Mulholland moves up to the front line, I would give Danilo Acosta additional time here in midfield.

Front Line

With the departure of Martinez (2579 minutes) and Garcia (1054 minutes) a lot of playing time has been opened up on the front line. I would like to see João Plata move down closer to 2000 minutes and Yura Movsisyan stay about the same. I would spread the remaining time around and allow Jordan Allen substantial time in the front line as he pushes toward 2000 minutes with both Luis Silva and Brooks Lennon getting at least 1500 minutes assuming they join the club. Should those two not join RSL, I would split their time between Saucedo, Velazco and Mulholland.

This would result in an increase to 19 players with at least 1000 minutes and a more established rotation than 2016. 1 goalkeeper, 7 on defense, 5 in the midfield, and 5 in the front line.

  1. Nick Rimando
  2. Justen Glad
  3. Aaron Maund
  4. Chris Schuler
  5. Tony Beltran
  6. Demar Phillips
  7. Chris Wingert
  8. Danilo Acosta
  9. Kyle Beckerman
  10. Omar Holness
  11. Albert Rusnak
  12. Luke Mulholland
  13. Stephen Sunday
  14. João Plata
  15. Yura Movsisyan
  16. Jordan Allen
  17. Luis Silva
  18. Brooks Lennon

Once again, barring major injury, how many players would you expect to see the field for more than 1000 minutes in 2017?