Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thoughts from Garth Lagerwey: Part II – Offseason Needs

This is the second segment of a 5-part series with thoughts from Real Salt Lake General Manager Garth Lagerwey.

I wanted to get his thoughts on the following topics:

            • the current squad
            • offseason needs
            • the upcoming draft
            • the RSL youth program
            • some of the consequences of the current CBA negotiations.

Here is part 2:

If you have read any of the early Mock Drafts for Real Salt Lake, most of them mention RSL wanting to find a goalkeeper to replace the recently departed Chris Seitz.  However, according to Lagerwey this may not be the case,

“Kyle Reynish, we like, as our #2 goalkeeper. I think we do want to have 3 goalkeepers in the mix. So I think it’s likely that there is a young goalkeeper to be added. Everyone assumes it’s going to be in the draft, but you can add a young goalkeeper a number of ways – from the USL, from the draft. One thing there is never a shortage of is young goalkeepers.”

Last season at this point, the mantra seemed to be that the team was looking to acquire at least a couple of players out on the open market – an attacking player, and a left-sided player.  This year the situation is a little more vague,

“I would think that we are either going to add one or two players, but again there are just so many unknowns right now it’s difficult. We don’t have a cap, so we don’t know how much money we have. We are trying to resign some of these guys on our team, but until we do that we don’t know where that money is going to go. It’s just such a wide swing.”

With the departure of Yura Movsisyan, it’s not surprising that the team would be looking at a replacement.  They did pick up Abe Thompson from the waiver draft, but he hasn’t yet shown himself to be a primary option in this league.  So it’s no secret that the team would like to find more strike power up top,

“We’d like to add an offensive minded player, but we aren’t going to blow up our salary structure to do that.”

The CBA negotiations definitely have an impact on addressing the teams needs, but unfortunately you can’t just sit around and wait until a resolution is in place.  In fact, coach Jason Kreis was reportedly in South America recently, presumably doing scouting.  According to Lagerwey it’s important to keep marching on,

“So what we do is follow a two-track policy right now. We go out and do all of our scouting. We identify all of the players that we might want to sign and then I suspect that once the CBA is done it’s going to be like dominoes: once one domino falls they’ll all fall into place, but until then it’s going to be very difficult to predict how it all shakes out.”

Look for the third segment with Garth on the upcoming draft coming up soon!