At the start of 2018, Justen Glad was the one thing in our back line that seemed to be a certainty.
We didn’t know necessarily who would be starting with him, whether it would be Marcelo Silva or eventually Nick Besler; we didn’t know who the left and right backs were going to be, either. We all assumed Brooks Lennon and Demar Phillips, but nothing really seemed certain. Glad had a standout 2017 though, so he seemed certain.
That certainty was well placed. Glad started 33 of the 34 regular season matches this year, and while perhaps his season wasn’t as great as his 2017, he still did a really good job as a whole considering he’s just 21 years old. Glad was easily our most consistent starter. Most of the season he was going back and forth between Silva and Besler alongside him, allowing Glad to kind of make the backline his home.
With the signing of Nedum Onuoha in the latter half of the season, we fully expected him to become the partner to Glad. Again, this did happen. Glad and Onuoha finished out the season almost exclusively.
It’s at the end of the regular season where the certainty of Glad starting began to be not so certain. In the three playoff matches Real Salt Lake would play, he saw just 50 minutes of play. After playing 97 percent of Real Salt Lake’s regular season, he would play just 18.5 percent of Real Salt Lake’s playoff minutes. It was never really explained to fans as to why this happened. In his half against Sporting Kansas City, he played just as he had in the regular season.
Very quickly though, we saw Glad’s minutes go from certain to unlikely and although we may not have a definitive reason why, most people seem to be wishing his minutes become certain again in 2019.