The clock is still ticking.
So will Real Salt Lake general manager Craig Waibel be back to see out what he began building at the club three years ago?
“I don’t have a contract and I have not seen a contract proposal,” Waibel told The Salt Lake Tribune Friday.
Waibel, however, said he has held multiple discussions recently with RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen about a new deal. Waibel’s current contract at RSL expires on December 31.
“I have expressed my interest in staying here, because I feel like there’s more to be done,” Waibel said.
The MLS offseason schedule potentially adds some urgency to resolving Waibel’s contract situation. While the team has announced its roster options and made two signings, other dates loom, most notably the half-day transfer window on Dec. 9, the expansion draft Dec. 11 and the waiver draft Dec. 12.
The two stages of the league’s re-entry draft are scheduled for Dec. 14 and 20.
Waibel, a former assistant coach at RSL, took over for former general manager Garth Lagerwey in December 2014 after the longtime RSL GM left to take over front office duties for the Seattle Sounders. Waibel served as technical director for the club until being given the full GM title in August 2015, where he’s served in that role ever since.
The franchise, under Waibel’s direction, has become one of the staples in Major League Soccer of developing and advancing homegrown talent from the academy system to the first team. With the recent signings of 17-year-olds forward Luis Arriaga and goalkeeper David Ochoa, RSL now has 10 homegrown players currently on the first team roster.
During its 2018 season, RSL regularly featured as many four or five homegrowns in the starting lineup each week. Waibel and his technical staff have hit big on impact signings like Albert Rusnák, Jefferson Savarino and Damir Kreilach. The club remains in pursuit of a striker after high-profile signings Yura Movsisyan and Alfredo Ortuño did not pan out at the club.
Since Waibel took over front office duties, RSL has made the MLS Cup postseason twice in 2016 and 2018, but missed out on the playoffs in 2015 and 2017.