Offside with Taylor Twellman

Could Real Salt Lake get even stronger this summer?


Real Salt Lake are the hottest team in MLS, riding a 13-match unbeaten run into the June international break.

The scary part? The Claret-and-Cobalt have the roster space to get even stronger this summer, namely Designated Player flexibility that could give head coach Pablo Mastroeni more weapons around star forward Chicho Arango.

"I think we're going to meet actually this week where we have some time away with front office and ownership and go through a midseason review, talk about the areas [to target]," Mastroeni said on Offside with Taylor Twellman. "We've identified a couple areas, obviously two in the attacking end, one in the back line, again, to fortify the group.

"I think we're in a great position. The one thing I would say about how do we go about doing it? What is the best? 'Cause as we know too, you can have two DP spots available, but it's more about the fit, right?"

That would only elevate RSL's lofty ceiling, fueled by Arango garnering Landon Donovan MLS MVP buzz. The Colombian striker has racked up an astonishing 25 goal contributions (16g/9a) to lead the Golden Boot presented by Audi race.

"When you have a guy like Chicho on the field, for example, his reputation precedes him," Mastroeni said. "So all the other guys have been waiting for this guy to show up to jump on his back and go, 'He's done it. He's won a championship. He's been a goalscorer in this league. He's done it. He's played at a high level.' So it just makes it easier."

RSL have already flexed their credentials as a Supporters' Shield contender, leading the Western Conference with 33 points (9W-2L-6D record) alongside a league-best +17 goal differential.

Should they maintain this mentality, Mastroeni sees no reason why his side can't keep pace with the league's heavyweights.

"I've been telling the guys, 'Our biggest challenge is us against us. It's one game better from the team that we were last week. It's not about Seattle, it's not about Austin, it's not going to be about Montréal,'" Mastroeni explained. "It's about really digging into who we are and just executing in all phases of the game just a little bit better."

"And it goes about being present, not controlling the Cincinnati's and the Miami's because that's all out of control. We're not playing those guys. And it's us against us from a tactical perspective, from a technical perspective, but it's also a mentality perspective. And if we can put those three together and we can get one game better without looking at the table, I'll tell you, we'll be up there competing with those guys at the end of the season."