SANDY, Utah — While there's been speculation that it's a foregone conclusion that longtime Real Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerwey will leave the team when his contract expires at the end of the year, Lagerwey himself insists he hasn't made up his mind.
He said he anticipates sitting down with owner Dell Loy Hansen “this week or next week” to discuss his future. He has a meeting scheduled with the owner on Thursday to discuss player personnel decisions, “And something tells me something else that something else might come up in that meeting as well.”
“There's no rush. I'm in no hurry. I don't think they are.”
Lagerwey's contributions to the franchise are incalculable.
“He's done everything,” said RSL defender. “He and (former coach) Jason (Kreis) built something pretty incredible in the smallest franchise in this league and he's done a lot with little for very many years.”
First-year RSL Coach Jeff Cassar, who was an assistant with the team for seven years, said Lagerwey has been “arguably the biggest part” of RSL's success. “He is amazing at what he does with his job. He sees things before they happen, and then we're able to answer those questions and not have to be scrambling. He always has a plan.
“Obviously, I want him back. Obviously, he's going to do what's best for him and his family. And we'll see in the next few weeks where everything falls.
In the meantime, Lagerwey said he's “totally committed to the offseason. There's a ton of work to do. And I'm going to keep doing it and I'm going to keep helping the coaching staff and helping this franchise as long as I can.”
For a guy who might be headed out the door — a guy who has expressed interest in being a club president, a position that's not currently vacant at RSL — Lagerwey certainly sounded excited about RSL. He spoke enthusiastically about how the team is preparing for the upcoming Chivas USA dispersal draft and the expansion draft. And as he talked about the future of RSL in 2015 and beyond.
He got choked up, vowing that he would “try to keep it together,” as he talked about what Utah means to him, his wife and their family. Whether that's because he's anticipating moving elsewhere remains to be seen.
“It's a special place here,” Lagerwey said. “Our lives have changed here.
“It's been a real pleasure to build this organization, along with Jason (Kreis) and Jeff (Cassar) and (former owner) Dave Checketts and Del Loy Hansen and everybody.”
He pointed to the “amazing” RSL fans who have thanked him in person and on social media. ““It's the kind of thing that, obviously, doesn't happen in big cities,” Lagerwey said.
But he said he'll be looking for “what's the best opportunity,” although Lagerwey has yet to be granted permission to speak to any other club.
“Money's not going to decide anything, but money will be a factor,” he said. “Mr. Hansen's got plenty of money. I don't see that being a deciding factor in this one, honestly.”
“But it's opportunity. It's career. It's what puts me on the best path going forward, understanding that, in a lot of ways, there are a lot of positives here.”
For more on Lagerwey's decision and the pending future of the club, read MLSSoccer.com's commentary here.