It’s summer in DC which means that while everyone is out playing beach volleyball, having bbqs with loved ones, and enjoying the beach, I am sitting on my laptop trying to figure out who may be available for Real Salt Lake now that the Ortuno has been banished. For this particular exercise I chose one current MLS player for each line (attack, midfield, defense) who I’ve heard could potentially be available (through podcasts and articles. I don’t have inside sources. Though I do have a subscription to the Athletic, so that’s something.). Enjoy and let me know what you think.
In recent seasons Real’s center forward spot has been as transient and inconsistent as Hogwart’s Defense Against the Dark Arts post. With Ortuno’s departure we no longer have a player on the roster who plays as a “traditional” number 9, despite whatever strange notions Petke may have regarding Krielach. Trading for an in form striker is typically a fools errand (teams generally like to keep goal scorers for whatever reason), but a few media members have floated Christian Ramirez as a forward who may be available for the right offer.
Minnesota’s main roster strategy in their short time in MLS seems to hinge around stockpiling as many attacking players as possible at the expense of basically every other position. The result is a current logjam at forward that may leave Ramirez as the odd man out. Overlooked for most of his career, Ramirez is the type of player who does the little things well and consistently puts himself in positions to finish chances. Waibel should be blowing up every phone in the Loon’s front office to see if the player is available.
RSL is currently tied for the 3rd worst goals against (39) in the West. While there are a myriad of factors contributing to the defensive woes, part of it lies on the aging legs in front of the back line.
Beckerman and Kreilach are both talented players with a lot of skill, but neither eat up a lot of ground at this point in their careers which makes it problematic to play them together.
Fatai Alashe is young, mobile, and potentially available after a very public and strange incident with San Jose head coach Michael Stahre this past week. While he has struggled for playing time in the past couple seasons, Alashe is still only 24 and if he can regain some of the form he flashed when he was younger he could be a worthwhile reclamation project.
Though the situation is looking better than it did a few months ago, RSL still lacks depth at outside back. While Lennon and Acosta should be the go-to pairing for now, it would help to have a talented alternate for those weeks when Acosta inevitably ticks of Mike Petke.
Saad Abdul-Salaam was a stalwart for a really terrible team a few seasons back, before being replaced by a bum coming back from a study abroad. He was then shipped to NYCFC where he has struggled to lock down consistent playing time despite providing two assists in only four appearances. Fullbacks are more important than ever in today’s game and having one more option out wide could pay dividends for Real down the stretch.