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Roster report: If RSL moves land, two to four spots remain open

RSL’s preseason is coming up fast. Can the team add players before it starts?

RSL general manager Craig Waibel, midfielder Albert Rusnak, and owner Dell Loy Hansen.
Matt Montgomery, RSL Soapbox

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent most of the offseason trying to figure out how exactly Real Salt Lake’s roster will be constructed.

With rumors flying about Landon Donovan, Luis Silva and more, we’re getting our first real look at how things could be constructed — but it’s important at this point to remember that we’re still short some information.

Let’s go through the roster designations and make some judgment calls while we try to figure things out.

Senior roster (1–20)

  1. Nick Rimando
  2. Matt van Oekel
  3. Tony Beltran
  4. Aaron Maund
  5. Chris Schuler
  6. Demar Phillips
  7. Chris Wingert
  8. Kyle Beckerman
  9. Sunny
  10. Luke Mulholland
  11. Albert Rusnak
  12. Joao Plata
  13. Yura Movsisyan
  14. Luis Silva — a move we’re expecting
  15. Landon Donovan — a move that somehow still remains possible
  16. Center back? — a move Jeff Cassar sort of dropped in our laps yesterday
  17. OPEN
  18. OPEN
  19. May not be filled, or OPEN
  20. May not be filled or OPEN

Some takeaways:

  • An important consideration here is that the final two spots on the senior roster don’t have to be filled, and the salary budget space can be spread around further. You don’t have to fill the rest, too, but you don’t have the same benefit. From the MLS rules:

A minimum salary budget charge will be imputed against a team’s salary budget for each unfilled senior roster spot below 18.

  • Will Real Salt Lake decide not to fill those final two spots? It might actually make sense for once. They’d be limiting the roster somewhat, but a 28-man group with actual depth is better than a 30-man group that cuts off opportunities for young players. That’s important to consider.
  • We know that RSL is targeting a center back, and even though we’ve heard that a player could be signed in the summer, RSL coach Jeff Cassar said we could see an announcement sooner than that. They may have even already put pen to paper — we’re a little in the dark here.
  • Even with Silva, Donovan, and an unnamed center back signing, there remain two to four roster spots open and available. That doesn’t mean they’d have to be filled, but it’s something to think about.

Supplemental (21-24), reserve (25-28), and homegrown (29-30)

These spots don’t count against the salary budget, so that’s something important to know. The final two spots are apparently for homegrown players exclusively — expect RSL to fill those slots. It’s unclear whether that will be from players already on the roster or new signings, like Jose Hernandez.

  1. HG - Jordan Allen
  2. HG - Justen Glad
  3. HG - Sebastian Saucedo
  4. HG - Danilo Acosta
  5. HG - Lalo Fernandez
  6. HG - Ricardo Velazco
  7. HG - Jose Hernandez
  8. HG - Brooks Lennon
  9. GA - Omar Holness
  10. Reagan Dunk

Things to know here:

  • HG - Homegrown player — they don’t have to be on the supplemental or reserves roster, but they can make $125,000 more than the roster spots’ respective salary budgets — that means a $150,000–$200,000 player could fit on the supplemental roster. That frees up your senior roster, but it also doesn’t necessarily mean those players would have to be on the supplemental roster.
  • Jordan Allen and Justen Glad could soon find themselves graduating to the senior roster — we don’t know how their contracts are structured, but it’s easy to assume they both got raises this year.
  • GA - Generation Adidas — given his status as a Generation Adidas player, Omar Holness has to be on the supplemental roster until being graduated from the program.
  • Brooks Lennon and Reagan Dunk have yet to sign with the club; there’s nothing saying that Dunk does sign, but it seems likely, and Lennon would join the first-team on loan if that goes through — and all indications to this point are positive.