Well, hello! It’s been a busy couple of days, hasn’t it? Let’s get right down to this mailbag business, because we’re pushing it pretty late on a Friday.
But that’s what you get when Real Salt Lake signs a player on roster freeze day, so I hope you enjoy the arrival of Nedum Onuoha a lot more than you enjoy this mailbag post.
So, here goes. Let’s talk.
I understand that RSL is looking for defenders, but with Waibel it seems that he searches for young forwards and old defenders. Why do you think this is? And will age be a problem for Onuoha like it has been for Silva?— Zuhayr Maung (@zui_maung) September 13, 2018
Yeah, that’s an interesting question. It’s long been held that forwards peak earlier and defenders peak later in their career, and I think that’s playing into what we have here. We’re picking up defenders — typically lower-value players — when they’re near the tail of the peak of their career. They won’t be quite what they were, but they’ll typically still be very good at 30 or 31 years old. Of course, a lot depends on the player, so don’t take that as the gospel truth.
With younger attackers, you typically will get a player who is not yet at their peak — that comes somewhere between 26 and 28, according to most research I’ve seen. The interesting part about signing them young is that we have a greater chance to keep them into their peak, or we will have a greater chance to sell them for a substantial profit. We haven’t seen that come to fruition yet, but I suspect we will with Joao Plata and Albert Rusnak someday.
Do you think they plan to bring him off the bench or do they expect a current center back might be looking to move?— Crumpyutes5 (@ACrump) September 13, 2018
So, yeah, I don’t think this is necessarily a case of a center back moving quite yet, but I do think we will see David Horst’s career come to a close. I don’t know anything about that, but he’s been getting involved in media, and I think he’s good enough to make a living on it. I’d love to see him continue down that path.
What I do think you have here is a case of three ‘top’ center backs who can play in rotation or in competition. This gives Justen Glad a different person to learn from, and that’s positive. Most positive for me is that he has shown fitness over his career, and with Marcelo Silva missing too many games with injury, a stable player would make a big difference.
Monarchs slumping. Do they recover to make a run into the playoffs? Stave off the opposition for the SS?— Matt Larsen (@soccerstuey) September 13, 2018
Oh, I don’t know — I think they can stave off the opposition, but it’ll be tough. The disruption of coaching changes has hurt them more than I might have thought it would, and I don’t think that’s about Jamison Olave’s ability. I do think we’ve had a couple untimely injuries — Sebastian Velasquez not playing for some stretch has hurt us — but it’s going to be more than just one player, I suspect.
Low-risk chance for #cf97 to take Yura for 7-game trial on the cheap. What does this mean for them? RSL? Yura?— Matt Larsen (@soccerstuey) September 14, 2018
Very low risk, I think. They can’t get any worse, so they might as well try to get better. For us, I think the best case is that Movsisyan picks up his game and gets himself a 2019 contract with the Fire. That’ll mean RSL is no longer on the hook for any of that money, which would be quite a nice thing for the club.
Which players do see staying with RSL for years to come?— Groll (@ntgroll) September 14, 2018
I actually wish I knew the answer to this. Here’s a short list of players I might suspect will stay more than three years, though, taking into account retirements and transfers:
- Aaron Herrera
- Corey Baird
- Connor Sparrow
- Andrew Putna
- Pablo Ruiz
- Sebastian Saucedo
- Danilo Acosta
- Brooks Lennon
- Nick Besler
I’d love, however, to add these players to that list:
- Jefferson Savarino
- Albert Rusnak
- Joao Plata
- Justen Glad
Of course, that’s a long list of players to form a core around, and only a few of them are quite good enough to really do that with.