Real Salt Lake coach Pablo Mastroeni was bullish after this weekend's loss to FC Dallas, which saw the Utah side lose at home for the first time in the 2022 season.
Among the things he discussed after the match – which RSL dominated from wire to wire without being able to put the ball in the net – was the prospect of incoming transfers ahead of next month's deadline.
With injuries to Bobby Wood (abductor), Tate Schmitt (knee) and Damir Kreilach (back), Real Salt Lake's playoff push could do with some help, and Mastroeni admitted in quotes on RSL.com that the club will be looking to move with the market.
"“Obviously, when three players go out, we want to definitely bring three players into all three positions that went out. It’s important, as we move towards the latter part of the season, to have depth, and not just depth, but quality, and to have competition. Every player that comes in creates a different type of energy, and you want competition to the end and the guys that have been here have done a fantastic job, so it’s always good to bring in some quality players and perk the ears up a little bit, and get that fight going again. It’s important, structurally, from a roster perspective, but also, the competition piece.”"- RSL head coach Pablo Mastroeni
The absence of striker Wood since his surgery earlier in the year has been huge for the club, with no playoff team in the West scoring fewer goals than their 28 in 22 games. Indeed, even the 13th-placed San Jose Earthquakes have notched 34 times – albeit with a far worse defensive record.
It's not yet clear who the Claret and Cobalt will go for, but it might be worth the head office having a look around the small handful of teams out of playoff contention and seeing if they can pry loose a player on an expiring contract, or a veteran who doesn't fit the timeline of a rebuilding team.
The balance, of course, is delicate. The smallest alteration to a winning squad can upset some locker room harmony – which defender Justen Glad said this weekend is 'great'.
"“We have a great locker room; everyone’s in a good mood in training. Like I said, it’s good vibes. Everyone really cares about each other, it’s a good group of guys, and it really makes you want to cheer for whoever; if they’re not playing, you want them to play; if they are playing you want them to do well. When you have a locker room like that – where everyone cares for each other and wants each other to succeed – then good things happen.”"- RSL defender Justen Glad
So...Dániel Sallói, anyone?