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RSL linked with Sebastian Blanco, but sources say deal unlikely

Is Blanco a no-go?

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Happy January folks! Today a rumor came across the wire that I’d like to address. What I won’t be able to conclude with you today is a 100% certainty that the rumor is not true, but I’m going to lay out some facts that I’ve been able to observe between the time that the rumor resurfaced and now.

We have some ‘news’!

On Saturday, January, 29th the Twitter user by the handle of @proprietarysean Quote Tweeted his original tweet about the link between Real Salt Lake and Sebastián Blanco.

Holy crap, right? As an RSL fan, at first glance, this would seem to be something of an exciting piece of developing news. How’d we all miss this when @proprietarysean mentioned it the first time?! After all, the 33-year-old winger is known to have given us a bunch of trouble in the past, scoring seven goals on us over the years and notching himself a cool seven assists to go along with it. Most recently he participated in knocking us off our Cinderella story of a run through the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2021. He scored two goals against us on Nov. 3. Then again, so did everyone else on the Timbers’ roster last season.

You can imagine how I felt waking up to the news (after completing my daily Wordle) to find that we were starting to grow some teeth on this rumor which meant only one thing; it was time to sit down and do some digging.

I was surprised for a variety of reasons about the rumor, and at first glance, I had to settle down a bit realizing that I had read something about Blanco just a few weeks ago. This wasn’t the first time his name had come up on my radar so I needed to know why I was torn on the situation. That something turned out to be a whole lot of drama. I had to be reminded of something I saw from Stumptown Footy and recollect my thoughts on the situation.

What we have from this piece is the following:

  • A 33 year-old rock star attacker (nearly 34) near and dear to the Portland Timbers fan base without a deal
  • A bum knee situation (torn ACL in September 2020)
  • Salary negotiations going sour. Portland want their goal scorer back but on a bit better terms. (I’ve since been told that the Blanco camp wants a three to four year commitment)

A source within the RSL organization didn’t fully confirm that we were necessarily out on the Blanco talks but mentioned that we have different priorities than an aging attacker and that it could’ve made more sense to love this idea a few years ago. Simply put, we’ve reconfirmed that RSL’s priority upfront would be around someone who’s young and healthy.

My suspicion is that we have ourselves a real German Cano situation on our hands. RSL has been known to be rumored to be linked a variety of times in what would appear to be nothing more than flashes in the pan and price tag adjusting tactics.

Would it be cool if true?

I think the right player for the right price who adds a bite to the roster is always a good idea. But what would those terms look like for us as fans to get giddy about the prospects of allocating the aging Argentine? I think a TAM deal on a short-term contract (similar to have been reported by the Timbers) would be fantastic! Why not? If we still want to prioritize attacking talent we have two sacred DPs spots (more than likely three, as there seems to be a lot of confusion around RSL captain Damir Kreilach and his DP tag) open to shore up our attack alongside patching some holes in our defense.

Here’s to hoping we start to see a few contracts inked over the next few weeks, as I still think there is a lot to improve about this current roster.