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RSL front office in final round of coaching interviews, says Fall on ESPN 700

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MLS: MLS Cup Playoffs-Round One-Portland Timbers at Real Salt Lake Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake’s coaching search is drawing ever-so-closer to a conclusion, with general manager Elliot Fall telling ESPN 700 radio host Spence Checketts that he and the front office are looking to make a long-term decision for the club.

I won’t editorialize too much here, as quotes from Fall are much more meaningful here. Let’s get to it.

LISTEN: Elliot Fall on ESPN 700

We’ve spent an insane number of hours on it over the last month, month and a half. It’s been a really exhaustive process. We’ve tried to be really diligent about being deliberate. Going through, asking the right questions, getting the right people, having conversations with all the right people — we had an initial round of interviews with well over a dozen people. We’ve narrowed that list down to finalists are in the process of doing those final round of interviews, and also scheduling some of the final round of interviews.

We’re trying to make the right decision, and the best decision for this club in the long-term. I guess the update is, we are well along the process. We’ve had a lot of great conversations, and I expect we’ll have some more great conversations. Then we’re going to have make a decision, what’s best both short-term and long-term for the club.

In response to a question about Pablo Mastroeni being on the list, and in response to a follow-up asking about the qualities Pablo Mastroeni brings to the club in his current role as interim head coach

Absolutely.

Pablo’s a leader. He’s an honest, genuine leader. He’s passionate. He loves the group, he loves the players, he loves to lead them, and I think he’s really having a lot of fun. I also think it’s important to note, the way things go week-in and week-out aren’t the only things in the conversation. Look, in the last week, we’ve had both sides of it, obviously. We’ve had tough results and great results. It’s important we don’t ride that rollercoaster in the decision-making process. It’s important we be pragmatic and analytical about each part of it.

I would also say, Pablo hasn’t had the opportunity of having a preseason and really putting his stamp on the group. I think what we’re seeing right now is a bit of what Pablo believes in and the leader Pablo is, but it’s not the full Pablo Mastroeni. That’s the only thing I’d say to the fanbase to keep in mind — there’s more to it than just the last seven or eight games.

In response to a question about what he’s looking for with candidates

I said this about Pablo. We need a leader. We need somebody who’s inspirational and can really lead a group of professionals and can lead a group of men to have success week-in and week-out, but also build a foundation for long-term success.

We need somebody who can develop. We’re a developmental club. We need somebody who’s adept at taking talent, taking pieces and making them better. That goes for our young kids, for our kids in the academy, the kids on the Monarchs and the first team. But it also goes for everybody else. It’s important that we always be looking to make each player better every single day, and that’s how we’re going to have success.

We need somebody who has an identity, and somebody who’s going to bring that identity to our club and further entrench us in this community — somebody who wants to be a part of this community, somebody who wants to be a leading voice in the sporting landscape here. There’s a lot of boxes to check, certainly, but we feel pretty good about a lot of people we’ve talked to.

In response to whether RSL’s coaching hire will be able to “fill out their coaching staff on their own terms”

I think it’s imperative that a coach be able to surround themselves with people that they trust and people they can work with. It’s also important that those people complement the coach. It’s a collaborative process. At the end of the day, yes, I believe that we’ll allow a coach to fill out the staff, but we’ll obviously be having conversations along the way with them about who each of those people are, because it’s important that whoever’s in that chair understands how to make those decisions and who to bring around them. Whoever we end up giving the job to, that’ll be a part of it — that they are able to self-evaluate, and that they’re also collaborative and want to work with all of us. I think those things will work together. It’ll be a collaborative process.