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RSL's depth takes a hefty hit as Barrett undergoes knee surgery

Published March 31, 2017 11:39 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated.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 • With his new head coach on board, Real Salt Lake general manager Craig Waibel can start working on other parts of his checklist. Most specifically, the sudden lack of depth up front after back-up striker Chad Barrett tweeted earlier this week that his knee injury was going to require surgery that would force him to miss most of the 2017 season.

On Friday morning, Barrett posted a photo on his Instagram page saying the surgery was a success. Barrett described the injury as a chondral defect in his left knee, before adding, "it's the opposite of a good time."

"The road to recovery starts today," he wrote.

"An injury to a guy that we were planning on playing in every single game this year — be it starting or coming in — greatly affects the way you plan," Waibel said this week. "That's something that we've gotta … I'll go home and sleep for about three hours and then wake up and start doing that part of my job."

The 31-year-old Barrett was signed this offseason to provide what RSL has sorely lacked in recent years: A consistent scoring punch off the bench. The forward depth hasn't been nearly productive enough in recent seasons. In 2016, RSL's reserve forwards totaled one goal backing up Yura Movsisyan.

In 2015, the back-up forwards scored six.

The loss of Barrett for most of 2017 changes the complexion of how Waibel and the RSL front office want to fill the remaining roster spots they have available. As it stands with Barrett out indefinitely, there isn't a pure back-up center forward on the roster behind Movsisyan. Waibel said Wednesday scouts Andy Williams and Dane Murphy have already been scouring the globe for potential replacements.

"Once we caught wind that this might be the news that we received, we started looking immediately at a few different situations and solutions," Waibel said. "MLS is interesting because season-ending injury vs. injured reserve vs. just a regular injury all impact not only the roster, but the salary cap."

Waibel said Barrett's injury will likely qualify him for a spot on the club's injured reserve. It is not a season-ending injury, Waibel confirmed. The timeline for Barrett's absence won't be gauged until after surgery is performed.

"But we're all waiting for that answer," Waibel said. "Once we have that answer, we'll know how to plan."

Barrett made three appearances in RSL's first three matches of the season, all of which came off the bench. In 65 minutes, he totaled three shots and one shot on goal.

-Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @chriskamrani




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