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Chad Barrett Brings Veteran Savvy to a Youthful RSL Attack

2017 RioT Victims

Well-traveled.  Veteran.  Journeyman.

Chad Barrett has seen several different titles associated with his name in the last few seasons as he has transitioned from one team to the next.  One the he looks to include in that list after his move to Real Salt Lake for the 2017 season is champion.

Already an MLS Cup winner with the LA Galaxy in 2011, Barrett hopes to play a greater role in the championship success of his current club after missing games late in the season with a dislocated foot.

“I want to come in here and give it the best I can.  I want to win another MLS Cup,” he said Monday after his first day of training with Real Salt Lake in Casa Grande, Arizona.  “That’s my final goal.  I just want to help a team win the MLS Cup.”

A 13-year MLS veteran, Barrett has been through several different locker rooms.  He started his career with the Chicago Fire in 2005 and was a pivotal player in a well-balanced group of youth and veterans that produced some of the top scorers during that time period in MLS and has had several players go on to the coaching ranks.  The example set by the likes of Chris Armas, Jesse Marsch, CJ Brown and Jim Curtin laid the foundation for Barrett’s career and while he has seen stops in Toronto, LA, New England, Seattle and San Jose since, he has been a consistent scoring threat that has put up 58 goals in 275 career matches.

He will look to apply those same principles with RSL, where he joins a group that includes several veterans, but also a crop of young players aiming to break through, just as Barrett, Nate Jaqua, Chris Rolfe and others did in his early years in Chicago.

“I was really fortunate.  There’s a lot of times when you come into a situation where there aren’t good leaders on the team.  There wasn’t just one good leader on that team.  All of the stuff they taught me – you try to soak it up like a sponge.  The way they led the team, you want your career to be like that,” Barrett said.  “From Day One, you have a direction and that’s the most important thing.  That’s probably the best thing I had going into my professional career.”

A rugged, hard-working forward, Barrett, has had four seasons that saw him score seven goals and another in which he scored nine, splitting time in 2008 between Chicago and Toronto.  Ever since his injury in 2011, he has seen most of his time coming off the bench, but that hasn’t done much to slow his scoring pace.  In the last five seasons he has scored 17 goals, including seven in 2014 with Seattle, helping the Sounders to the Supporters’ Shield that year.

The transition was admittedly not an easy one, but he has embraced the chance to contribute to his team in any capacity.

“It was hard to get used to at first.  Everyone wants to be the star.  Everyone wants to be the difference maker.  Especially as an attacker, it’s in my DNA.  We’re called glory chasers for a reason,” Barrett said.  “That can be done off the bench as well.  It’s going to take all 28 people to really achieve a lot of success here and if we can establish that as our team mentality, we can only do good things.”

Throughout his career, he has had an eye on Real Salt Lake and his conversations with Head Coach Jeff Cassar before signing assured him that the club was continuing down a positive direction in 2017.

“It’s always one of  the teams that you hate playing against and hate going to.  I think the fans play a big role in that – they’re always so behind their team.  Now I have that at my back and that’s a really good thing,” Barrett said, going on to praise RSL’s style as well.  “They like to play soccer.  They have a direction and a style of play.  A lot of teams don’t have that.  The fact that they have an identity and a coach committed to keeping that going.”

Top Ten Currently Active MLS Scoring Leaders

1. Chris Wondolowski, SJ, 121
2. Kei Kamara, NE, 86
3. Bradley Wright-Phillips, NY, 69
4. Chris Rolfe, DC, 64
5. Dominic Oduro, MON, 62
6. Clint Dempsey, SEA, 59
7. Chad Barrett, RSL, 58
8. Sebastien Le Toux, DC, 57
9. Alan Gordon, COL, 52
10. Dom Dwyer, SKC, 52