For MLS Cup champions, it will be a busy 2010
RSL hopes the likes of Mathis and Movsisyan can be replaced
By Randy Davis, MLSsoccer.com
The following is the first in a five-part series by MLSSoccer.com beat writer Randy Davis previewing the 2010 season for Real Salt Lake.
SANDY, Utah — Although Real Salt Lake have maintained a large portion of their roster from a season ago, they still have had to accommodate some significant changes.
Two key members of the 2009 roster have since departed: Clint Mathis and Yura Movsisyan. The team will have a challenge filling their shoes, as both players contributed significantly to the team’s attack for long stretches last season.
In addition to roster changes, Real Salt Lake will face fixture congestion in the second half of the year. Contributing to the back log is a two-week World Cup break during the regular season as well as RSL’s participation in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Although the Champions League schedule has not yet been released, Real Salt Lake will play three home and three away matches from mid-August through late-October. This has typically been a critical stretch for the club during the last two seasons, when RSL has needed to earn points on the final weekend in order to make the playoffs.
This season RSL will want to try to “bank” some points early to compensate for the late-season challenges they will encounter.
Álvaro Saborío, FW (Loan from FC Sion)
Luis Gil, MF (Trade from Kansas City Wizards)
Collen Warner, MF (SuperDraft – 1st Round)
Chris Schuler, DF (SuperDraft – 3rd Round)
Rauwshan McKenzie, DF (Picked up from waivers)
Tim Melia, GK (Rochester Rhinos, USSF D2)
Yura Movsisyan, FW (Randers FC, Danish Superliga)
Clint Mathis, MF (Trade to LA Galaxy)
Chris Seitz, GK (Trade to Philadelphia Union)
Rachid El Khalifi, MF (Released)
Tino Nuñez, FW (Released)
Raphael Cox, MF (Released)
2009 By the Numbers
Overall Record: 11-12-7, 40 points (T-8th)
Home Record: 9-1-5, 32 points (1st)
Road Record: 2-11-2, 8 points (13th)
Shots: 423 (1st)
Shots on Goal: 184 (1st)
Goals: 43 (T -2nd)
Goal Differential: +8 (4th)
Home Goal Differential: +23 (1st)
Road Goal Differential: -15 (12th)