As you probably know by now, Real Salt Lake has scheduled a press conference to make a major club announcement today at 4:15 PM.
RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen, general manager Craig Waibel, and captain Kyle Beckerman will be hosting the event, “along with other club dignitaries and personalities.”
There is already a lot of speculation floating around out there, so let’s add to the fire.
Here are five things that the organization could be announcing today:
Kyle Beckerman is retiring from professional soccer
This is easily the worst-case scenario, so let’s get it out of the way first.
It has been no secret that the Claret-and-Cobalt captain has been nursing a bone-bruise that caused him to miss most of the preseason.
Furthermore, he has been asked to cover much more ground in the double-pivot role under Cassar than he had to as a strict No. 6.
At 34 years-old, he is on the older side of players on the roster – and he is not getting any younger.
Could his time as a professional finally be up?
Let’s hope not, but it is not out of the realm of possibilities with a whole slew of ex-RSL players retiring last year – Ned Grabavoy, Nat Borchers, and Jamison Olave, to name a few.
RSL have acquired a new player
While this might be sort of a let down to what this press conference could be, it would, nevertheless, be a step in the right direction for a club that is struggling both offensively and defensively.
The organization has said that it is still pursing players and with space on the roster and allocation money in the bank, they could have finally made a signing.
Sure the European transfer window has closed, but the MLS one is wide open.
This is the time of year that clubs can work to shore up gaps in the squad, so RSL might be taking advantage of this option.
Could RSL be announcing the signing of a world-class center-back to stop the steady stream of goals against the club? Sure, why not?
A new player would be fun, but I would think that any roster flexibility would be at the discretion of the new head coach and not finalized before their arrival at the club.
RSL announce they are playing host to Manchester United this summer
As reported yesterday, Manchester United will be playing a friendly in Salt Lake City this summer.
Salt Lake City was one of four listed stops on the Premier League club’s itinerary, but no venue nor opponents were listed.
An RSL Communications spokesperson told RSL Soapbox yesterday that they had no comment at this time, so the organization could be set to make this announcement today.
This possibility was made even stronger when Bill Riley from ESPN700 reported this:
I've been told that there will be more clarity within the next 48 hours on the @ManUtd visit to Salt Lake City...— Bill Riley (@espn700bill) March 20, 2017
The last top tier European club to play in Salt Lake was Real Madrid, so just the presence of Manchester United will draw the attention of the world media to soccer along the Wasatch Front.
Editor’s note: Inter Milan, who spent the last three years in the Europa League competition, played a friendly against RSL last year.
If RSL gets the opportunity to play Manchester United, you better believe it would be considered a “major club announcement.”
RSL has a new head coach and it will be . . .
Your guess is as good as mine here.
With such a short turnaround, however, one has to wonder if the new head coach might be coming from outside the organization’s current ranks?
Could it be Freddy Juarez has finally been given the top coaching position, after finding success with the academy and Real Monarchs?
Will interim-head coach Daryl Shore shed the first part of that title in just over 24 hours?
Or will Mike Petke finally make his return to MLS?
Take your pick.
Kyle Beckerman has accepted an offer to be RSL’s new head coach
#HCKB5 has been trending on my Twitter feed, so I would be amiss not to mention this option.
This is the best-case scenario by far.
The Claret-and-Cobalt have a tradition of finding success when a ex-player takes the helm. Ok, so it has only happened once, but winning the MLS Cup and creating a dynasty of sorts is the stuff of legend.
General Manger Craig Waibel made it clear during Monday’s press conference announcing Jeff Cassar’s departure, that the organization had a specific type of leader in mind for the head coach position.
Well, without getting too specific, because that kind of gives you guys a lot to speculate on, we will look for someone with shared values, shared vision with where we’ve aligned ourselves as an organization with how we’ve built our roster.
While I won’t share all of the details and exactly how I view those, it’s definitely going to be somebody that aligns very closely with our vision and identifies with our fan-base and understands what’s important to our organization and our fan-base.
Beckerman fits this to a T.
Without doubt, Beckerman has made the Wasatch Front his home and really connected with the fan-base.
He is the kind of person that will go out of his way to make every individual feel like a member of the RSL family.
He is a team player and is the shining example of the “Team is the Star” mantra.
Beckerman has all the traits to make him a successful coach in this league, and now would be as good as any to give him the reins.
What do you think will be announced today? Is there anything we missed? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.