On Saturday, RSL announced it had re-signed academy products and first-teamers Justen Glad and Jordan Allen to new multi-year contract extensions. Per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. RSL general manager Craig Waibel confirmed the new deal with Allen last November and said throughout the offseason the organization remained in discussions with Glad and his representation to extend his time with RSL.
Now it's guaranteed: The RSL duo that came up together in Casa Grande, Ariz., will be around for a while.
"The academy has been a priority for Real Salt Lake and the benefit of that comes in producing top-level talent that can represent the club for years," Waibel said in a club release. "As an organization, we could not be more pleased with the way Justen and Jordan have represented the club at the professional and international levels while also showing to be vital parts of the Salt Lake City community. Who they have become as men is as admirable as anything they've done on the field and it is appropriate to reward those efforts."
The 20-year-old Glad became a full-time starter in 2016 as one of RSL's center backs. Originally signed to a Homegrown contract in April 2014, the defender started 27 matches a year ago while scoring two goals and notching an assist during his breakout year. The Tucson, Ariz., native is currently in Costa Rica with the U.S. U-20 national team as it competes in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship for a potential berth in this summer's FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea.
"I'm super happy to be continuing my career with the team that game me my first shot and has put their faith in me from day one. It's exciting to continue working with a phenomenal organization, city and fanbase," Glad said in the club release. "This is really where I want to be and I think it's an exciting tie within Real Salt Lake and MLS as a whole. I can't wait to see what 2017 holds for me and the club."
Allen, 21, signed his Homegrown deal in Dec. 2013, but saw his rookie year in 2014 cut short due to microfracture knee surgery. The Rochester, N.Y., native started 22 of his 46 regular-season appearances in 2015 and 2016. Allen has four goals and four assists the last two seasons. He entered this preseason as the favorite to win the wide forward spot opposite Joao Plata after the departure of former Designated Player Burrito Martinez. In six preseason matches thus far, Allen has scored a goal and drawn two penalty kicks.
"I'm excited to know that I will be with Real Salt Lake for a long time," Allen said. "This is where I want to be and it's great that the club has this amount of faith and confidence in me. Now this puts the onus on me to repay that confidence on the field moving forward."