SANDY, Utah — Development isn’t reserved just for players at Real Salt Lake.
That was the message from club owner Dell Loy Hansen at a press conference to introduce Freddy Juarez as the club’s head coach and Elliot Fall as the general manager Tuesday afternoon, removing the interim tag from both.
“We’re growing players, but we’re also growing administrative talent and coaches within the RSL system,” Hansen said. “Elliot is the premier product of the technical staff. It was a long search. We measured three times. We looked close and far. The joy of this was how we produce administrative skill sets at RSL proved that Elliot was by far the best candidate to offer the job to at RSL.”
The searches for both head coach and general manager happened in tandem and Fall was involved in both in different ways. He served as assistant general manager under Craig Waibel and, before that, learned from Garth Lagerwey as the salary cap and economic specialist. Even with that experience, the past month was a unique experience for the 34-year-old old, who is youngest general manager in the league.
“We were all a part of different conversations and permutations,” Fall said. “It was a unique situation in that we were looking for a GM and a head coach, but we were also coming off a reasonably successful year, so we weren’t looking to shake things up.
“It was trying to determine the proper structure moving forward to succeed and continue that progress. It was clear from the get-go everyone in the club we wanted to keep in the club. Are we bringing in a new head coach or would Freddy be the head coach? Are we bringing in a new GM or am I taking the role full-time?”
Fall declined to comment on specific names or how far things went with Jason Kreis, but as Fall put it “we considered a lot of different options and ideas and we spoke directly with a handful of people.”
Ultimately, RSL’s end of the season, despite upheaval among the technical staff, was enough to sway Hansen and the rest of the front office from making too many changes.
The next steps will be keeping RSL in the upper tier of the Western Conference next year and pushing forward to challenging directly for trophies, not just making the playoffs or losing in the Conference Semifinals.
“It’s not like a lot of teams in the league. Consistency matters, building a team that is consistent will yield better results,” Hansen said. “We were close. We felt like we were knocking on the door.”