For years, it seems, RSL had been going after a center back that could take over and lead. And it wasn’t like there weren’t suitors. But year after year, we were left thinking that if we had two center backs on par with our Nat Borchers/Jamison Olave pairing, we’d be set. I mean, we had a young Borchers in Justen Glad, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find our other guy…? Right?
Needless to say, the years with Aaron Maund, Carlos Salcedo, Chris Schuler, Glad and Olave all in the mix weren’t bad years. But there always seemed to be an understanding that we needed a CB signing in order to cement our status as contenders. We couldn’t rely on a different backline week after week any more than we could rely on our dynamic attack outscoring opponents or having the speed necessary to come back to defend.
Having spent the most recent stint of his career in Spain, Marcelo Silva came to RSL in the middle of this past season, and looked ready and eager to get going. Since the announcement of his signing, I don’t think anybody who follows this league could say they didn’t expect him to come in right away. It wasn’t likely that he would take Glad’s spot, or even Maund’s permanently, but it was understood that he was here to cause some damage.
Silva had 9 appearances for RSL this year, leading RSL to four wins, one loss, and a solid handful of ties. His most memorable game will surely be the one against the Galaxy, in which he received, in my opinion, an unjust red card in the 14th minute of play. While 9 games isn’t necessarily a sample that is large enough to draw a solid conclusion on, he seems to be a favorite among the fans and has drawn a copious amount of support from his teammates, coaches, and front office. I look forward to seeing how he connects with Glad, Kyle Beckerman, and the wings in the off-season. While Silva isn’t the only reason I will be smiling in February, he is a massive part of it.