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Waibel: Talks with Donovan ongoing, RSL close to signing two MLS free agents

Published January 20, 2017 4:24 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sandy • Craig Waibel took question after question regarding the state of his roster, rumors about potential signings and the 2017 preseason, which commences Monday when Real Salt Lake boards a flight for Phoenix, Ariz., for the first portion of a three-tiered preseason training camp.

Below is a run-down of what RSL's general manager had to share Friday afternoon.

» Potential Donovan deal "far from done"

RSL has continually been linked with American superstar Landon Donovan for nearly a month now. And Waibel confirmed — again — that contract negotiations remain ongoing with the 34-year-old, but reiterated that any potential deal is "far from done."

"We wouldn't be in a world of Landon being signed, unsigned and all the things that have happened in the last five, six weeks if Landon didn't want to play soccer," Waibel said. "I don't want to speak on his behalf, but rumors are fun, Landon does have an interest in playing soccer and everything lies in the details."

That's that. For now.

» Agreements with Barrett, Horst reached

While the deals are yet to be finalized, Waibel said RSL has reached verbal agreements with MLS veterans — and free agents — Chad Barrett and David Horst. Barrett, a 31-year-old journeyman striker, has been in the league since 2005. He recently had his option declined after spending 2016 with the San Jose Earthquakes. In 275 career appearances, Barrett has 58 goals and 31 assists. That signing likely signals the end to RSL's search for a back-up center forward to Yura Movsisyan.

Horst's signing would be a return to the club that drafted him 14th overall in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. The 31-year-old center back made three appearances in his first three years at RSL before moving on to the Portland Timbers and eventually the Houston Dynamo. Horst started 83 matches in Houston the last three seasons and came out-of-contract at the club at the conclusion of the year.

» 'I believe Luis will play here this year'

RSL remains, Waibel confirmed, "very interested" in bringing Luis Silva back to the organization. The 28-year-old attacking player has spent the last two seasons in Liga MX with Tigres UANL.

"I do believe we're going to be able to bring him in," Waibel said. "We've been working with Tigres. It's been a longer endeavor than any of us thought it'd be when we first started talking about it, but I'm very, very optimistic and I believe Luis will play here this year."

» Rusnák's arrival?

RSL's prized offseason signing, attacking midfielder Albert Rusnák, is in the middle of his Visa/ITC process that began the day he signed his Designated Player deal at RSL two weeks ago. The 22-year-old Slovakian is expected to join RSL sometime during its first stop in Arizona.

"I don't think it'll be Monday, but he'll be in Arizona before we leave Arizona," Waibel said. "I'd say optimistically, end of next week."

— Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @chriskamrani




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