Real Salt Lake SuperDraft Preview: Finding help up top
MLSsoccer.com continues its team-by-team preview of the 2013 SuperDraft with a look at what could be in store for Real Salt Lake, who made their fifth straight postseason appearance in 2012.
Real Salt Lake have a way of doing things. You know they’re going to keep the ball, you know they’re going to throw up a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield and you know they’re going to say, “If you’re going to beat us, it’s going to have to be from the flanks.”
Knowing that doesn’t make it easy to play for them, though. RSL rookies rarely get significant playing time, which means you shouldn’t really expect to hear from the guys they draft this year until 2014.
Real Salt Lake SuperDraft Picks: #12 (1st Rd), #31 (2nd Rd)
Real Salt Lake Depth Chart (22 players):
Goalkeepers (3): Nick Rimando, Jeff Attinella, Eduardo Fernandez
Right Backs (2): Tony Beltran, Lovel Palmer
Center Backs (4): Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Aaron Maund
Left Backs (2): Chris Wingert, Kenny Mansally
Defensive Midfielders (3): Kyle Beckerman, Yordany Álvarez, Cole Grossman
Attacking Midfielders (2): Javier Morales, David Viana
Flank Midfielders (3): Ned Grabavoy, Luis Gil, Sebastian Velasquez, Enzo Martinez
Second forward (1): Robbie Findley
Center Forward (1): Álvaro Saborío
Internationals slots (4 of 6 remaining): Martinez, Viana
Real Salt Lake SuperDraft Priorities
We’re going to assume that Morales and Findley get signed. If they don’t, it’ll be closer to a roster overhaul rather than the slight modification that this offseason has, at its core, really been. If Findley’s not inked, however, that second striker role becomes priority No. 1.
Bang Away: Everybody knows that RSL plays some of the prettiest, most intricate midfield possession ball in the league. But what some folks miss is that a lot of it is due to Saborío’s ability to provide an outlet, hold the ball up and take the occasional beating in order to bring the midfield into the play. They need a backup – badly.
Wish List (center forwards): Eriq Zavaleta (Indiana), Ryan Finley (Notre Dame), Devon Sandoval (New Mexico), Will Bates (Virginia)
Spread 'Em Out: RSL fans won’t miss Fabián Espíndola’s missed sitters, but they will miss the room he created for the rest of the attack – both in terms of stretching the defense vertically and in flaring to the sidelines for room. Findley’s a natural replacement who won’t have an RSL learning curve, but he can’t be the only speed option on the roster for Jason Kreis to choose from.
Wish List (second forwards): Erik Hurtado (Santa Clara), Emery Welshman (Oregon State), Blake Smith (New Mexico)
Full Deck: They “discovered” Mansally last year in a midseason pickup, giving them cover at both fullback spots. But they’re only four deep and don’t have a true left-footed option on the roster.
Wish List (left backs): Jimmy Nealis (Georgetown), Greg Cochrane (Louisville), John Gallagher (Penn State)