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Opinion: Three promising in-MLS targets for RSL in 2019

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MLS: Columbus Crew at Chicago Fire Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason has been a steady but an exciting one for most RSL fans.

We have had the homecoming of Donny Toia, resigning of RSL iron man Tony Beltran, and a couple of homegrown pickups. As of right now, Real Salt Lake has only five more roster spots to hand out. Now, with the potential signing of German Cano or another promising DP center forward, the lack of depth seems to be in the midfield.

Luke Mulholland’s and Sunny’s departures (assuming that we don’t pick Mulholland back up) could hurt RSL if they don’t address this need. We need some backups for Kyle Beckerman and Damir Kreilach, especially as Beckerman will turn 37 this year.

Now, RSL isn’t a team that deals with trades with other teams as much as some would like, and now the league has so much talent I’m sure that Craig and company can find some hidden gems. Here are some options which Real Salt Lake could look into around the league.

Tony Tchani: $353,333; 29 years old

Tony Tchani is a free agent in MLS since being waived by the Chicago Fire in August. Now, that’s one red flag right there, however, we have to know that this man once considered one of the CDMs in the league and was riding the bench behind Dax McCarty and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

One factor that makes him a possible candidate is his history with our current coach Mike Petke. The two played at Red Bulls for a year together before Mike hung the boots and became an assistant coach. After one year of Petke’s assistant coaching Tchani was traded to Toronto FC.

We can assume if Tchani does come in, he and Mike Petke could have a good relationship already. Tchani has similar characteristics to Luke Mulholland, as he is able to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time and has a rocket of a foot. Additionally, Tchani, though he was born in Bafang, Cameroon, does have a green card and would not occupy an international spot.

Collen Warner: $251,004; 30 years old

Could another RSL homecoming be in the works? If you’re a fan of Minnesota United, let’s hope not. Collen Warner, like Donny Toia, has aged well in other teams. He’s been able to get minutes everywhere he goes.

As he is more of a number six than an eight, he’s really good at disturbing the flow of attack to opposing teams and covering ground in the defensive half. To me, out of all these options, Warner is the most likely. He’s a free agent, relatively cheap, and already knows his way around Salt Lake.

Overall, he would make a fine addition to the club. From talking to some MNUFC fans, he’s apparently a fantastic locker room guy and pushes others at the central midfield position. Here’s to what may or may not happen.

Dax McCarty $712,500; 31 years old

Now, I know what you are thinking: Wow that’s a lot of money. But, despite your initial thoughts, Dax is a standout dude. Honestly, this move would only really happen if Craig is making moves to replace Beckerman.

If RSL is looking for another Sunny/Luke type of player to rotate in, this move would not work. There’s been some talk around the league that Chicago isn’t the place for McCarty. However, RSL would have to spend some additional TAM/GAM to get him from the Fire — something that we rarely do. As this is a prediction, it’s pretty clear that Dax would be a great addition to the midfield; however, I know that out of all the targets this one is a long shot.


Overall, these players would help out the depth that RSL needs in the middle of the pitch. Also, RSL should expect at least one of the central midfielders that the club brings in to be a domestic player or at least not take up an international spot.

Taking everything into account, it’s a position that will probably need the most attention after we get a sweet number nine. Who you might like to wear the Claret and Cobalt next season?