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Silly season heating up: RSL linked with Miguel Ibarra, Mateus Vital

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Seattle Sounders FC v Chicago Fire

Real Salt Lake might just be making moves — at least, that’s what you’ll led toward if you believe everything you read on the internet, which I often do.

The first rumor surfacing this week: RSL is interested in bringing in Mateus Vital, a Brazilian midfielder playing at Corinthians. MLSSoccer.com is actually reporting that one, which doesn’t actually tell us anything about the accuracy of the rumor.

Vital is not a known quantity at this point in his career, but he does play regularly for Corinthians, who are a massively well-known side in Brazil. He’s scored four goals in the 2021 Série A campaign — nothing to be sniffed at. He’s just 23, and that’s a great age for picking up an attacking midfielder and winger.

Ibarra, on the other side of the coin, is much more well known. He made his way into MLS by way Minnesota United, a team he started with during their NASL tenure. He played with Minnesota in MLS until 2019, and in 2020, he played for Seattle Sounders, where he was an infrequently used figure. It is hard to imagine him as a starting player at Real Salt Lake, but it’s likewise easy to imagine that Seattle would prefer to use a valuable senior roster spot on a player who offers the promise of more minutes.

That rumor was most recently resurfaced by occasional Sounder at Heart contributor Niko Moreno, seen below. It’s since been picked up by the rumors accounts that give no reference to where the initial rumor surfaced — continuing their pattern of being utterly awful. (To be clear: The rumors accounts are awful. I rather like Sounder at Heart, but don’t tell them that.)

Rating the probabilities

  • Ibarra coming to RSL isn’t a lock certainly, but it’s the sort of move that does make sense. He shouldn’t be too expensive, and that opens up the door for RSL to bring him in without having to dip into targeted allocation money — something we know is not likely given Dell Loy Hansen is still owner.
  • Mateus Vital, on the other hand, seems a long shot. He would cost quite a bit of money, and while we could maybe get him in on loan, there seems some real risk there. He might be a good option, but he’s not putting up unreal numbers or anything, and without owner investment, it’ll be difficult for us.