Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen thinks Garth Lagerwey will still be with the team in 2015, but he’s well aware that one of the league’s most prized general managers might be looking for something more.
Hansen discussed Lagerwey’s future with RSL in an interview on Salt Lake City affiliate KUTV-Channel 2 on Sunday night. Lagerwey has helped RSL become one of the league’s most successful franchises since he took the position in 2007, but his contract with the club will expire at the end of this season.
“I think the odds are Garth will stay,” Hansen told KUTV. “But at the same time, we both agreed ... let's win this season, and then let's see what the opportunities are.”
RSL won the MLS Cup title in 2009 and appeared in the title game again last season. Lagerwey’s name has been linked to vacant general manager positions in the past – most notably to Toronto FC in September 2013, a connection Lagerwey quickly denied – and he’s made clear to Hansen that he’s always had high aspirations in in MLS.
“Garth has told me from the first time he was here that if the chance came to be a president of a club, he wanted to do that,” Hansen told KUTV. “So for five years, I've had no illusions that if somebody said, 'Look, with your eight years of experience at Real, [you] could be the president of a club,’ I think Garth wants to look at that.”
Hansen said that Lagerwey’s decision will likely not come down to financials, but rather if Lagerwey wants a bigger job in the front office like longtime friend and RSL president Bill Manning.
“If he gets the chance … to run an organization,” Hansen said, “he wants a crack at that.
“I think a great team can plug people in at the team level, at the coaching level, at the management level,” Hansen added. “However, there are extraordinary managers and there are extraordinary GMs. Garth is clearly at the pinnacle of his trade. When you get that good, you sometimes start to look at the guy above you and think, 'I could do that, too.’”
Lagerwey's longtime friend and former RSL head coach Jason Kreis left the club after the 2013 MLS Cup final, taking over at 2015 expansion franchise New York City FC.