Real Salt Lake signs GM Craig Waibel to multi-year contract extension

Real Salt Lake announced on Friday that the club has retained general manager Craig Waibel with a new multi-year contract after reaching the postseason in two of Waibel's three full seasons in the role.

Waibel originally joined RSL's coaching staff ahead of the 2014 season, and was promoted to technical director and then eventually GM the following season. The club has increased its win total in each season since his appointment to the current role while also investing heavily in developing talent from within.

In 2018, Homegrown Player signings accounted for 10,826 minutes in the regular season, the highest number in MLS. That included those played by Corey Baird, who had eight goals and five assists en route to winning 2018 AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year.

“In speaking with Craig about the future of the club, we are collectively very optimistic and excited about the direction of RSL,” club owner Dell Loy Hansen said in a team statement.  “We share the same commitment to creating the best academy and player development system in MLS and Craig has been successful in advancing that vision while signing key international players that create a playoff side.”

Salt Lake have also invested in youth in their international signings under Waibel, with forwards Joao Plata, Albert Rusnak and Jefferson Savarino all winning acclaim during their MLS tenures.

Savarino joined Homegrown signings Justen Glad and Brooks Lennon as players representing RSL on the league's 22 Under 22 list in 2018.

“I want to thank Mr. Hansen for putting the faith and trust in me over the last four years and continues to put in me moving forward," Waibel said in a statement.  “We will continue to pursue the perfect storm where every movement of the team on and off the field is representative of the character of the fans that have been so supportive of Real Salt Lake since the inception."

Prior to his work with RSL, Waibel had a decorated 12-year playing career that included winning four MLS Cup titles, one Supporters' Shield and one U.S. Open Cup championship.  His four MLS Cup titles ranks tied for fourth in MLS history, trailing only Landon Donovan, Jeff Agoos, Todd Dunivant and Brian Mullan.

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