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Waibel with ‘shape up or ship out’ message to underperforming RSL defense

RSL’s general manager is unhappy with RSL’s woeful defense.

Matt Montgomery, RSL Soapbox

Real Salt Lake general manager Craig Waibel isn’t pulling his punches with regard to the club’s underperformance in Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to Houston Dynamo.

In his latest interview on club-owned ESPN 700, Waibel said a lack of sharpness on the backline should never have been the case, given the experience most of those players possess.

In recent weeks, he’s expressed frustration with the fact that veterans haven’t always been providing support for younger players like they ought, and this continues that theme. Now, he’s called attention to Real Salt Lake’s defense — and it’s hard not to, given they did it themselves by losing 5-1.

The backline certainly wasn’t sharp, and there were multiple poor performances on the backline. There’s no way to sugarcoat it, and it shouldn’t be sugarcoated. We had experienced players on the backline other than Justin Schmidt that played well below not only their average performance but league average performance. It’s unacceptable.

Either the players change their attitude and their upkeep to the game, or we do. We’re coming up to a really important window in the summer window, where we’ve got to come up with quite a few answers, because you are what you are.

That’s a strong message from Waibel, and it’s worth taking a step back and looking at.

You can’t change everything overnight, and I talk a lot about having a long-term view. But every once in a while, like Wednesday night, you can’t always pretend it’s a long-term view. It’s not always existential like that. There’s going to be some really black-and-white conversations that happen in the next week-and-a-half about where we’re going to be, and what we’re going to do in the July window.

So, there you have it.