Friday, February 27, 2009

Alejandro Taraciuk Key to RSL's Argentine Pipeline

Real Salt Lake has developed a reputation over the last two years of bringing in or at least looking at Argentine talent. Of course, they are not the only team in MLS doing this, but they have embraced this talent pipeline as much as any team in the league. Here are some recent players from Argentina:

Javier Morales - by far the most important Argentine that has come to the team, and perhaps the best player on the club.

Matius Mantilla - former defender, and a member of the initial "Argentine Trio" that joined the club in late 2007.

Fabian Espindola - Impressive striker, who unfortunately faced numerous injuries while here, including one originating from the famous "backflip" in 2008.

Matias Cordoba - heralded midfielder who never really fit in during his time here.

"Unnamed" Argentine striker - during last summers transfer window the team reportedly came close to landing a top-notch striker, but were outbid for his services by an team in the Argentine Primera.

Luis Escalada - current trialist with the team who was initially expected to join the club, but arrived with fitness issues. His future with the team should sort itself out in the next couple of weeks.

So how does the team make contact with all of these players (and undoubtedly others that never reach that stage)? Garth Lagerway revealed the answer on the "Monson and Graham Show" on 1280 the Zone radio recently when he indicated that agent Alejandro Taraciuk was a "close friend of the team".

Taraciuk is a former employee of the league who now plies his trade working out of Buenos Aires. Here is what former MLS Deputy Commissioner, Ivan Gazidis had to say about what Taraciuk's relocation to South America has meant to the league:
"The MLS has now become a big story in Argentina. We decided it would be really good for us to have a consultant down there who really knew the inside track of the way the league worked, the way our salary system worked, and who knew about the people and knew the teams in Argentina. Once you seed the process like that, once you have success, and hopefully players have a good experience in MLS, what happens is it becomes a virtual cycle that makes the assimilation process easier for the next player."
While all teams have access to this resource it appears that RSL has embraced this agent and developed an important connection there.