According to a report in the Salt Lake Tribune on Tuesday, Real Salt Lake may be close to agreements that will see both Nick Rimando and Brooks Lennon returning to the roster for 2018.
Rimando is currently a free agent, with his previous contract ending after the 2017 season, but it would be very unusual to see RSL not do everything possible to make sure the club icon ends his career wearing Claret and Cobalt. (Or black, the way we all like it.) As the all-time leader in just about everything in goalkeeping in MLS history and the author of some of the most amazing moments in RSL history, the club should be keen to avoid having anything similar to what happened with Javier Morales happen again, and they will very likely close on this and put all of our worries to rest.
Lennon was with RSL on a short-term loan from his contract with Liverpool, which also ends at the end of 2017. His contract follows the July to June calendar that most other countries are on, so it remains to be seen if RSL is going to arrange another loan to keep him in Utah for the start of 2018, if they will have to wait and sign him as a free agent in the summer window, or if they can negotiate a release with the English club. Typically, players can sign new contracts within 6 months of the end of their current deal, so Brooks should be able to agree to terms with RSL starting on Jan. 1 if he is anticipating continuing his career in MLS.
Having these two players on the roster is a benefit to continuing to pursue the positives that we saw at the end of 2018. Rimando is not a liability in goal regardless of his age, and his veteran presence and mentoring abilities to the rest of the keepers on the squad are hard to put a price on.
Lennon is going to potentially find playing time hard to come by as long as Joao Plata and Jefferson Savarino are healthy, but any injuries, national team call-ups, or the need to keep people fresh will give him chances to break into the rotation and provide a reliable option for Mike Petke to use on the wings.
Ultimately, this will be a good thing all the way around if RSL does indeed make these two deals happen. Hopefully we get the good news before the end of the year as a holiday gift for the whole RSL Family.