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Chris Kamrani
Chris Kamrani covers Real Salt Lake for the Tribune.

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RSL found value in MLS SuperDraft long before it started

>It was rewarding enough for Real Salt Lake to come away with valuable allocation money, in its trade for the No. 14 pick of the Major League Soccer SuperDraft in Baltimore today.

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But consider the other ways RSL has used its draft picks, and things look even better.

The reason the team had only two picks in the three-round draft is because it traded away two second-round picks — one natural, one acquired in a previous trade — for a couple of players it values quite highly. One is Luis Gil, the 17-year-old midfielder whom some have said just might be the future of American soccer.

The other?

Veteran Arturo Alvarez, whom RSL acquired from the expansion Portland Timbers after the Timbers nabbed him from San Jose in the expansion draft in November. Many analysts have said it's almost unfair for RSL to have landed a player as good as Alvarez — the team plans to try him as a forward in training camp — considering how good the team was already.

"If you look at it that way," coach Jason Kreis said, "that's not bad."

Certainly not.

The team acquired the allocation money it needed to keep its core together, and picked up two players as valuable as many (most?) it could have acquired in the draft.

"It wasn't a dream draft, in that we weren't able to add anything to get better," general manager Garth Lagerwey said. "But at the same time, you look at what we spent our picks on … and I would tell you that might be one of the best drafts of all-time. That's kind of how we're viewing it."



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