Sandy • Major League Soccer’s summer transfer window closes at midnight Wednesday, making this Real Salt Lake’s last chance to add players that are under contract to its roster this season.
As of Tuesday evening, RSL’s only summer acquisition was Uruguayan center back Marcelo Silva. The team announced his signing on July 3, and Silva has played in the past three matches.
“The improvement at center back,” RSL general manager Craig Waibel said, “I’m happy with that and the groundwork we set. And the battles we fought were good fights and the right fights to have in terms of trying to bring guys in.”
One of RSL’s targets was likely Bursaspor midfielder Cristóbal Jorquera. Turkish media widely reported a failed attempt by RSL to acquire the Chilean center midfielder.
“We feel good about the past six months,” Waibel said. “We brought in Albert [Rusnák], we brought in Jefferson [Savarino], we brought in Marcelo. And in that same six months, we’ve had a coaching change.”
RSL signed Rusnák in January and acquired Savarino on loan from the Venezuelan team Zulia FC in May.
But just because the MLS secondary transfer window is closing doesn’t mean rumors will stop. For example, an MLS Transfers report on July 21 linked RSL striker Yura Movisyan to a possible loan deal with SK Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic. Movsisyan’s agent, Patrick McCabe, downplayed such rumors at the time of the report.
The European transfer window doesn’t close until September.
Loving life on the road
No one prefers to play on the road. But Real Salt Lake certainly isn’t dreading it.
“I like it more,” RSL coach Mike Petke said of playing teams that aren’t likely to sit in against RSL, “because it’s going to test us because we’re on the road and they’re up forward at home, but it also opens up areas that I think we can exploit. And when we’re at our best is when we’re in transition and going fast.”
RSL (7-12-5, 26 points) wrapped up its three-game homestand on a five-match unbeaten streak. All three of those home games, however, ended in draws.
Real Salt Lake had a hard time converting chances at Rio Tinto Stadium against teams that were able to take a defensive approach and implement the ‘win at home, draw on the road,’ plan. RSL’s two most recent wins came on the road.
The club takes on D.C. United and the Montreal Impact next in back-to-back away matches.
RSL at DC United
Saturday, 5 p.m.
TV • KMYU
“It opens up the game more and that allows more space for our front four, more space for them to create,” defender Justen Glad said. “As you saw against Houston, it’s tough to break down a team that has 11 people sitting behind the ball. And when there’s that extra space in the movement that we have up top, I think that it creates more chances for us and enables us to play how we want to play.”
Even as it struggled to break down Houston’s defense, RSL got off 21 shots Saturday in a scoreless draw at home. In the second half alone it logged 15.
The only problem was, none was on goal.
RSL represented at U.S. U-17 camp
Two RSL Academy players are in Oregon this week, preparing for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Last week RSL Academy forward Sebastian Soto and midfielder Taylor Booth were selected to the group of 24 that coach John Hackworth took to the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton for a nine-day camp, running Aug. 5-13.
The U.S. is scheduled to play its first match of the U-17 World Cup on Oct. 6 against India in New Delhi.