At the end of the 2018 season, Justen Glad was snubbed playoff minutes. He played nearly the entire regular season, then, at the last minute, was not used in the playoffs. This left us at the end of 2018 with a lot of questions.
We headed into 2019, where we had to wait until April to get answers to any of those questions. Glad picked up a toe injury that kept him out for the first month of the season, keeping him from seeing any minutes until April 13.
When he returned, Glad didn’t miss a beat. He came back from injury, a disappointing end to 2018, and picked up right where he left off. Glad started eight straight matches, playing the full 90 minutes of the game. Glad missed just five matches of the regular season outside of his injury where he missed six matches.
Glad once again was a pretty consistent starter for Real Salt Lake when healthy, but he also found some time with the US U23 national team. Glad, amongst a few other RSL teammates, were called up for a training camp with the U23 team in June in addition to a call up for the United International Football Festival in November.
Once again though, come playoff time, Glad was shown the bench in the first round of the playoffs. Glad played in six of RSL’s final eight games of 2019 but in their first round matchup at home against the Portland Timbers, Glad saw no minutes. It took making it to the second round of the playoffs in Seattle to get time — a full 90 minutes.
At the end of the day, Glad is a young, consistent player for Salt Lake. He is in his fifth full season with the club after signing a homegrown contract in April 2014 and is a young veteran in this team. Glad is just 22 years old and has seen over 2,000 minutes in each of three seasons, and 1,620 in another.
Playing a lot of minutes doesn’t necessarily prove he’s good, but it should speak volumes. Glad, when partnered alongside Nedum Onuoha, has been very successful. RSL was 14-6-3 when Glad started last year. RSL had just 16 wins on the year, meaning only two wins came in the 11 games he missed.
RSL has done well to allow a player like Glad to develop. He has seemed to flourish with Real Salt Lake and still has a higher ceiling. Glad even has a chance of representing the United States at the 2020 Olympics, should he continue in 2020 to be as successful with Salt Lake as he was last year.