Signing on as a free agent, Adam Henley is a player looking for a place to reinvent himself. If he can prove that he’s not another “Glassman,” Real Salt Lake may have found themselves with a very capable full-back.
What to know
Adam Henley is a Tennessee-born Welsh international, who most recently played for Blackburn Rovers in the English 2nd division. His career has stuttered and stalled over the last few years. Multiple injuries and changes in coaching preferences. Henley found himself on the outside looking in at Blackburn and eventually on chopping block.
What to expect in 2018
With the right back spot up for grabs due to Tony Beltran’s long-term knee injury, RSL and Henley have found themselves in a win-win situation. RSL need someone with experience, and at only the age of 23, he has the more than any of the young players at RSL heading into the 2018 campaign.
Expect him to be fully committed to being a part of the RSL team. He’s quick, tough, and aggressive, so look for him to drive hard at an opposing defense whenever a channel opens up (see video below.)
Don’t expect too many players to try and go 1v1 with Henley. He’s got a hell of a tackle and great recovery. Even when he’s beat he can still push attackers wider than then they want with his recovery speed and even cut out the shot completely.
What to hope for
Imported English defenders have a notoriously hard time adjusting to play in the MLS, but he’s young and hopefully he’s willing to listen to the MLS veterans around him. If he can manage to transition his tackles to a nibble rather than a “Premier League bite”, stay out of referee’s books, and not hurt himself in the process he’s got a great opportunity at being successful.