With two departures, with have our closest of view of Real Salt Lake’s roster that we’ve seen in a while — but is it good enough to sustain success in the second half of the MLS regular season?
Let’s talk about it.
Here’s the latest official roster from the club.
Goalkeepers (5): Gavin Beavers, Jeff Dewsnup, Zac MacMath, David Ochoa, Tomás Gómez
Defenders (11): Andrew Brody, Zack Farnsworth, Justen Glad, Bret Halsey, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Chris Kablan, Johan Kappelhof, Jaziel Orozco, Marcelo Silva, Tate Schmitt
Midfielders (10): Julio Benitez, Nick Besler, Scott Caldwell, Maikel Chang, Bode Hidalgo, Damir Kreilach, Jasper Löffelsend, Diego Luna, Pablo Ruiz, Jude Wellings
Forwards (9): Sergio Cordova, Chris Garcia, Anderson Julio, Axel Kei, Jonathan Menendez (on loan), Justin Meram, Rubio Rubin, Jefferson Savarino, Bobby Wood
Interesting enough, but I’d like to narrow it down by players that have played this season (at least 30 minutes), or, in one case, are necessary on the bench. I’ll also strip out players who won’t be playing again for at least most of the second half of the season, so as to give us a more realistic view of the state of things.
Goalkeepers (2): Zac MacMath, Tomás Gómez
Defenders (8): Andrew Brody, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Johan Kappelhof, Jaziel Orozco, Marcelo Silva, Tate Schmitt
Midfielders (6): Nick Besler, Scott Caldwell, Maikel Chang, Jasper Löffelsend, Diego Luna, Pablo Ruiz
Forwards (5): Sergio Cordova, Anderson Julio, Justin Meram, Rubio Rubin, Jefferson Savarino
I think we’ve got a more realistic view here. That’s 21 players sort of at the core of this group, and there are 35 players listed on the official roster. I’ve kept Diego Luna, because he just joined, and Tomas Gomez, because he’s clearly our second-choice goalkeeper now. Bobby Wood and Damir Kreilach are both out, in part because I’m not optimistic we’ll see them in the next two months. David Ochoa is out because, well, yeah. You know. (If you don’t: He hasn’t been on the bench for a long time now. He’s not playing for Real Monarchs. He’s spending most of his time in Oxnard, California.)
I have kept Jaziel Orozco because he met the conditions for inclusion, but I think it’s clear that he probably won’t play considerable first-team minutes throughout the year unless there’s another injury crisis.
Is this group good enough to succeed throughout the year? That’s a question I don’t have an answer for. I do think there are some considerable gaps — at left back, in the midfield, and at center forward.
I’m optimistic there will be additions, but the balance of this roster is one that’s simply not to be expected to make an impact through the balance of the year.