Real Salt Lake have lost three of their last four games — an unusual stretch for a team that has been one of the better in the league over the last couple of seasons.
However, while many other teams across the league made moves ahead of last Sunday’s international transfer window deadline, RSL chose to remain pat. At least for now.
“[The transfer window] doesn’t impact anybody out of contract,” GM Garth Lagerwey reminded MLSsoccer.com.
Each season, as the trading deadline has come and gone, Lagerwey has always said he will look to make make deals if and when the team is struggling. But right now, he explained that there are extenuating circumstances; for example, injuries to key players such as Javier Morales have affected the team's overall form.
Before Morales' injury (May 7): 0.833
After Morales' injury: 0.438
Before CCL final (April 28): 1.000
After CCL final: 0.527
“When we have our team together, I think we’re one of the best teams in the league,” Lagerwey explained. “Specifically, when we have less than a million dollars of our cap on the sideline, we’re 7-1-3. And the only loss was to Portland three days after the Champions League final. It’s much, much worse than just having lost Javier [Morales].”
“When we had our team intact we were the second best team on the continent [just] four months ago,” he added, referring to the team’s loss to Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League final in April. “I find it difficult to believe that much has changed.”
Injuries have certainly been a factor, but the schedule has been an issue, too. Though RSL have had a home-intensive schedule up until this point in the season, they also have had many multigame weeks.
“Now we have one game a week for five weeks, our slowest stretch of the season and our No. 1 goal in the next month is to get healthy," Lagerwey noted. "We need to get [Jámison] Olave back. We need to get Paulo [Jr.] back. We need to get Ned [Grabavoy] back.”
Meanwhile, as RSL fans watch Western Conference foes LA Galaxy — who already boast the best record in the league — welcome Robbie Keane into their ranks, Lagerwey didn’t close the door on a deal.
“We’re always looking at players,” he insisted. “We're always looking to try to get better … [though] nothing that is far enough along to share.”