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2018 Dossier: Taylor Peay

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

As one of several 2018 signings, Taylor Peay brings flexibility to Real Salt Lake’s defensive corps as Mike Petke looks to strengthen his team.

What to know

Taylor Peay was a draft pick at Portland Timbers, but he rarely played for their first team. In 2017, he signed for Real Monarchs, where he was a crucial piece in their USL-best season. Following that excellent season, Peay signed with RSL. Finally, you ought to know that Peay is a Utah native, growing up in Salt Lake City and attending Brighton High.

What to expect in 2018

It’s likely that Peay will be serving purely in a backup role for Real Salt Lake. He’s shown some excellent development, but he will still find himself behind Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva and David Horst. He’ll likely be challenging newcomer Shawn Barry for minutes at center back.

However, Peay’s flexibility in also playing full back could prove beneficial, too. Depending on how RSL coach Mike Petke intends to approach his roster, there could be space for him in wide positions — or, if the coach decides on a three-center-back formation, there will be more discussion.

What to hope for

Peay has every chance to become an MLS starter in a year’s time, but this will be the year he gets to prove that. If he can show he deserves minutes, he will get opportunities, especially if his defensive flexibility can translate into MLS.

At 26, Peay is nearing the period in his career in which he will likely be at his best. If RSL can give him minutes, there’s certainly a chance he can really shine.