What’s Next For Real Salt Lake Following Unforeseen Playoff Run

Dec 6, 2021, 9:45 AM | Updated: 11:51 am
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake...
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake has concluded its 2021 season following a 2-0 loss in the Western Conference Final, despite pundits expecting the ownerless club to finish towards the bottom of the conference prior to the season starting.

It was a wonderful display of leadership, belief, and momentum that provided Real Salt Lake with the chance of contending for a place in the MLS Cup Final.

However, with the season finished, the club still has many questions that require answers ahead of the 2022 campaign.


Firstly, general manager Elliot Fall must make a decision on who the full-time manager will be. He and the front office have had until August 27th to sort through candidates, conduct interviews, and determine the club’s next managerial move. Fall is expected to make the announcement public shortly.

Once the manager is announced the club can begin to plan accordingly.


Many players will require news on their immediate future. Captain Albert Rusnák is a top priority for the club to bring back, but with no ownership at the helm, his salary and signing bonus make for an impossible task.

Therefore, Major League Soccer must provide Real Salt Lake with ownership. It would simply be unruly by Major League Soccer to allow another offseason to go by without Real Salt Lake having discretionary spending funds.

Assuming ownership takes control, Real Salt Lake will have the financial stability to make adequate roster decisions.


Rusnák’s immediate future is certainly the priority and understandably so but the club also has many decisions to make on squad players. Guys like Justin Portillo, Tate Schmitt, Andrew Putna, Ashtone Morgan, Jeizon Ramirez, Douglas Martinez, Chris Garcia and Donny Toia. All players mentioned did not contribute often to the 2021 season, they predominantly sat on the bench or in a suite watching from the stands. By no means is their future set at the club.

Anderson Julio is on loan from Liga MX club AtlĂ©tico San Luis but Real Salt Lake can issue a buy-out clause if they want to keep Julio permanently. However, KSL Sports has been informed that the buy-out clause in Julio’s contract is in the millions of dollars. Julio came off the bench under Mastroeni and personally changed games. His impact was incredible. But will the front office be able to justify his impact off the bench and eat the lucrative buy-out price?

Justin Meram and Everton Luiz are also out of contract. Meram’s impact off the bench alongside Julio was pivotal in Real Salt Lake’s playoff run. The front office will likely offer Meram another contract with his role changing to more of an impact bench player than a starter. Meram is currently on $500K annually which will likely drop with his change in role.

Luiz, on the other hand, makes $1.16 million annually. As good as Luiz can be, his lack of discipline will force the club to either sign him to another contract on far less money or choose to not re-sign him and go after somebody else to help solidify the midfield.

While signing and waiving existing players will be an integral part of the off-season. The club will also be required to sign new faces.

Position players of need include a holding midfielder, a left-back, another center-back, a winger, and a striker. However, the positional needs of players will rely on who the new manager is and the formation that they would like to play.

Regardless, the club has a lot of work to get done before the 2022 season commences. Players report for pre-season in roughly six weeks’ time. The need for ownership has never been higher.


  • Real Salt Lake Scoreboard

  • Real Salt Lake Team Leaders

  • Real Salt Lake Standings

Real Salt Lake

Timestamp: 1661817600
Time difference: 2699880
Anderson Julio - Sergio CĂłrdova - Minnesota United - 2022...
Tom Hackett

Real Salt Lake To Host Minnesota United In Midweek Clash

Real Salt Lake returns home to host Minnesota United in a midweek fixture that will likely have serious playoff implications.
1 month ago
Timestamp: 1661558400
Time difference: 2959080
Anderson Julio - Celebrates - Against - FC Dallas - 2022...
Tom Hackett

Real Salt Lake Settles For Deserving Point Against FC Dallas

Real Salt Lake came from behind to pinch a road point against FC Dallas despite having the majority of the chances in the second half. 
1 month ago
Timestamp: 1661558400
Time difference: 2959080
Anderson Julio - RSL vs. Nashville...
Trevor Allen

Anderson Julio Header Levels Match For RSL Against FC Dallas

Real Salt Lake forward Anderson Julio leveled the match in the second half for RSL on the road against FC Dallas on Saturday night.
1 month ago
Timestamp: 1661472000
Time difference: 3045480
Jefferson Savarino - Real Salt Lake - FC Dallas...
Tom Hackett

Real Salt Lake Heads For Humidity In Crucial Fixture Versus FC Dallas

Real Salt Lake is on its way to Dallas, Texas, for a date with FC Dallas in a crucial Western Conference showdown this Saturday evening. 
1 month ago
Timestamp: 1661472000
Time difference: 3045480
Rio Tinto Stadium...
Tom Hackett

Real Salt Lake Encourages Fans To Bring Teddy Bears To ‘Kick Childhood Cancer’ Match Against Minnesota

Real Salt Lake is asking fans that plan on attending the upcoming home game against Minnesota to bring teddy bears to the game.
1 month ago
Timestamp: 1661385600
Time difference: 3131880
Tom Hackett

Real Salt Lake Welcomes New & Old Faces To Training Pitch

Real Salt Lake welcomed newly signed left-back Bryan Oviedo to the training pitch for the first time since signing with the club on August 4.
1 month ago
What’s Next For Real Salt Lake Following Unforeseen Playoff Run