ORLANDO – Though negotiations have dragged on, Real Salt Lake general manager Craig Waibel expects free agents Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando to re-sign with the club before they open preseason on Jan. 22.
Waibel told MLSsoccer.com on Friday at the adidas MLS Player Combine that negotiations are progressing with the club icons, both of whom are currently out of contract and eligible for MLS free agency.
“Good conversations, we’ve been in good conversations for quite some time. I’m optimistic on both. I think both have a happy ending for Real Salt Lake and for the players themselves” he said. “But negotiations are negotiations, it takes a long time to sort through the minutiae of getting a deal done. And without getting into all the details of why that is, I’m extremely optimistic both end well for us.”
Beckerman and Rimando have both had legendary careers at Real Salt Lake, serving as the two faces of the team since they arrived in Utah in 2007 and leading the club to the MLS Cup title in 2009. The longtime MLS veterans played a significant role with RSL in 2017, with Beckerman, 35, recording four goals in 26 regular season appearances and the 38-year-old Rimando enjoying a solid year in net.
“I’m optimistic. There’s no reason to think either one of them won’t be there on the opening day [of preseason],” Waibel said.
Waibel added that he’d like to add another box-to-box central midfielder – Luke Mulholland is the only player currently on the roster capable of playing as a No. 8 – before the season begins. He also spoke about Designated Player forward Yura Movsisyan, who expressed his unhappiness with his lack of playing time under head coach Mike Petke last year. RSL are exploring their options for the Armenian striker, including a possible buyout.
“We’re still working on finding the best solution. The best solution may be that he’s coming back, the best solution may be him going somewhere else,” Waibel said.
“There could be [a buyout], but the way we’ve structured the roster, there is no huge need for a buyout. We’re just trying to work with him to make sure he’s happy.”