A lot of players have spent time on Real Salt Lake’s roster over the years; some arrived with great fanfare, others merely a mere mention. Some showed promise, while others never saw the field.
Here’s a look at three more former players in our series Where Are They Now.
Fans who only started following RSL since 2013 may not remember the impact Ned had on RSL. By the time he arrived in Utah, Ned Grabavoy had already been in MLS for 5 seasons. He was drafted in 2004 by the LA Galaxy, played 34 games over 2 seasons then got traded to Columbus; he upped his status making 36 appearances also over 2 seasons at the Crew, but he was left exposed in the 2007 expansion draft and was picked by the San Jose Earthquakes. One season and 24 games later, the Quakes waived him, allowing RSL to pick up Grabavoy.
In 2009, Ned was primarily a backup, but he gradually increased playing time until becoming a shining facet of Jason Kreis’ diamond midfield. Over a 6 season period Ned played 173 games for RSL, and scored 11 goals. 2013 proved to be his most successful, gaining five assists and finding the back of the net five times.
Unfortunately, like all good things, it eventually came to an end. At the end of 2014, New York City FC was slated to join the league, and another expansion draft would be held. As RSL’s former coach was now their coach, it was guaranteed that we would lose someone, and Grabavoy was the one picked. Both he and Kreis only lasted one season with the Pigeons.
Thanks to the new MLS Collective Bargaining Agreement, Ned was one of the first players granted free agency in 2016; he agreed to sign with the Portland Timbers that year, rejoining another former RSL player — Nat Borchers.
Ned Grabavoy retired at the end of 2016 and took the position of Director of Scouting and Recruitment for the Portland Timbers.
Cody played college ball at Wake Forest, scoring 33 times in 64 appearances. He continued to play after college for the Carolina Dynamo (now North Carolina Fusion U-23) in the USL-PDL, continuing his scoring prowess by netting 14 goals in 16 games.
That was enough to catch the attention of a scout from Everton FC; he went to England on trial in March of 2009 and was signed to a one year contract in August. He played in seven games for the Everton reserves but never broke into the first team for the Premier League side.
Arnoux was released in 2010, but he stayed in England, going on trial for several teams. He returned stateside after no teams took him on, and signed with the Vancouver Whitecaps — then still in USL — during mid-season.
After only 7 games, scoring once, the Whitecaps were slated to move to MLS the next year, which drew increased scrutiny from the league. Vancouver wanted to extend Arnoux’s contract by signing him to their USL-PDL team, but MLS viewed this as a way to get around the draft process and negated the contract. Cody was put into a team lottery in 2011, which was won by Real Salt Lake. It was hoped that Arnoux would replace Robbie Findley, who had opted to try his luck in England.
Unfortunately for both Arnoux and RSL, he was injured in a pre-season match, underwent knee surgery and was kept out for most of his first season. He made only two appearances late in 2011, both as a substitute for a grand total of 69 minutes. He remained with the club to start 2012, but never made an appearance and was released in mid-season. He then returned home to North Carolina to play the rest of his career with the Wilmington Hammerheads, who played in USL-Pro at the time. He retired from soccer in 2015.
Cody Arnoux is currently the head salesman at Black Dog Fence Co. in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Gil was once viewed as the heir apparent for Javier Morales by some RSL fans, unfortunately Javi’s longevity as a player lasted longer than Gil’s patience. As a youth player with a lot of promise, Luis signed a MLS Generation Adidas contract in 2010, and rather than going through the draft; was placed in a weighted team lottery.
The Kansas City Wizards won, but at the time were in the Eastern Conference; Gil had indicated that he preferred to go to a Western team, thus MLS ‘engineered’ a trade that landed him at RSL.
Gil spent that first year on loan with the short-lived AC St. Louis, playing nine games and scoring once. Back with RSL in 2011, he was expected to be a substitute as attacking midfield, mentored by the maestro Javier Morales; but in May, things changed. Morales was injured in a horrific tackle against Chivas USA, resulting in a broken ankle and an extended period of time on the sidelines. Gil was thrown into the fire earlier than the coaching staff would have liked.
Gil played 24 games that year, starting 14 of them; he increased playing time over the next two years under Jason Kreis, where he featured both up top and on the left side of the diamond midfield. His time started decreasing again once Kreis departed for the concrete streets of New York City, and once the 2015 season was over, Gil opted to decline the contract RSL offered and look for opportunities in Mexico.
Signing with Querétaro F.C. in Liga MX, he hoped for a starting role, but as with RSL, it was not to be. He made only 10 appearances before being loaned back to MLS for the next two seasons; first to Orlando City, then Colorado Rapids, and finally the Houston Dynamo before finishing up in the USL with Rio Grande Valley FC until the end of his contract with Liga MX.
He still had options in the U.S., but Gil opted instead for a clean slate and made the jump to Europe. He signed with FK Viktoria Žižkov in the Czech Republic for the 2019-20 season, playing in 17 games and scoring 3 times before games were suspended due to the Covid-19 outbreak.