A veteran in MLS and for Real Salt Lake, Chris Wingert has been a long mainstay with this team. His twenty-three appearances were far more than most of us expected this season; he put in his work, did his job, and even notched a goal this season.
Though he doesn’t possess the speed of, well, anyone else on the roster, really, he has a veteran eye for the game. He reads the match and knows how to play it to his strengths. Could he possibly do this for one more season with RSL?
He’s a huge supporter of the organization. A mentor for younger players. A voice of experience. He showed up for the Real Monarch’s shield-clinching match to cheer on the team. He even took the time to take a picture with my daughters. A player who looks out for his team, his organization, the younger players is a quality resource to have, even if his on-field production is not what it used to be.
Wingert is currently out of contract with RSL and is eligible for free agent status. What his plans are going forward—with RSL or outside the club—are anyone’s guess right now. RSL would not be remiss to bring him back for another season if mostly for his leadership and training contributions, but at thirty-five his playing career is certainly drawing to a close, though not necessarily over. Might he have a spot with the academy, Monarchs, Royals, or training staff? Maybe. We’ll see.
While not our first choice outside back or, as has sometimes been necessary, center back, Wingert is certainly a worthwhile element of experienced depth. Wherever he lands, it cannot be denied that he’s been an integral element of this team over the years.