Real Salt Lake hires Vasquez to lead academy program

LEHI, Utah — Real Salt Lake on Thursday named Martin Vasquez as their head coach and director of soccer operations for the club's RSL-Arizona academy program.

Vasquez will also serve as director of soccer for Grande Sports World and Grande Sports Academy in Casa Grande, Ariz., where the RSL academy program is based.

Interestingly, Vasquez is the former head coach of Chivas USA, where former RSL academy head Greg Vanney now serves as an assistant coach. Vasquez comes on board after an extensive search following the departure of Vanney.

“Real Salt Lake is excited to add a coach of Martin’s caliber to our youth program,” RSL's general manager Garth Lagerwey said in a statement. “We looking forward to working with him to prepare our academy players for the next level.”

Vasquez played in both Major League Soccer and the Mexican Primera División and also suited up for both the Mexican and United States national teams during his playing career.

“It is a great honor and a dream come true to be able to make a positive impact on the young men at the Real Salt Lake-Arizona academy, who we hope to develop into great players for Real Salt Lake, Grande Sports World and universities around the country,” said the 47-year-old Vasquez. “I am looking forward to achieving great things both on and off the field with the academy players.”

Mike Muñoz, who has served as head of the program in Vanney’s absence, should be able to help Vasquez get up to speed with the program. Muñoz was a player at Chivas in 2005-06 while Vasquez served as an assistant coach.  

On another note, the club announced on Wednesday that it has signed speedy striker Chris Agorsor, formerly with the Philadelphia Union. Agorsor has been on trial with the team for the better part of the month and was one player who had stuck around amid a revolving door of trialists over that stretch.
 
"He has some potential, and we hope he pans out," Lagerwey told the Salt Lake Tribune.  

Lagerwey also told MLSsoccer.com just prior to Thursday's announcement that the team expects to have several additional trialists with the team over the next couple of weeks as they continue to evaluate talent throughout the summer transfer window.