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Jeff Cassar ‘cautiously optimistic’ RSL can sign Donovan

First Published      Last Updated Jan 18 2017 02:23 pm

They've run hot, cold and lukewarm at times, but it appears contract discussions with Landon Donovan certainly aren't on the frigid side at the moment. At least according to Real Salt Lake coach Jeff Cassar. During a radio hit on the club's flagship radio station ESPN700 with RSL play-by-play voice Bill Riley, Cassar said he remains "cautiously optimistic" that a deal between Donovan, 34, and RSL can get finished sometime before the home opener March 4.

"I'm optimistic that we might have the opportunity to bring Landon in," Cassar said. "Obviously some things have to fall in line. That's kind of out of our control. I'm optimistic, and there have been times when I haven't been optimistic."

Riley asked Cassar what kind of issues could prove to hold back Donovan from signing with RSL. Cassar said he believes Donovan, who came out of retirement midway through the 2016 season with the L.A. Galaxy, wants to be in Utah.

"Obviously he was a L.A. Galaxy player [and] you have to then acquire him," Cassar said. "A lot of things have to happen. There's also free agency rules that you have to abide by. Those things are always extremely tricky."

Cassar added that he's hopeful that another move RSL has had in the works — bringing back former RSL attacker Luis Silva back from Mexico — could be finalized soon as well. The 28-year-old has spent the last two years with Liga MX club Tigres UANL. RSL general manager Craig Waibel said two weeks ago that RSL was "waiting for the ink to dry" on a potential return for Silva to Utah.

"All the indications I'm getting is that could very well happen that we could acquire him," Cassar said. "If that happens, that's another great piece to the way we want to play, the way we want to attack, the way we want to have good, positive possession. Luis is a fantastic young player still in his prime."

There was also a hint to a potential center back addition as soon as Wednesday, Cassar said. To listen to the full interview on ESPN700, click here.

-Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @chriskamrani