Real Salt Lake needed a target striker a lot more than a team doctor, but managed to acquire both when it signed Kenny Deuchar out of the Scottish Premier League on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound veteran of Gretna F.C. also is a practicing physician who has continued to work part-time at a hospital while playing professional soccer. But RSL is most excited about adding an imposing presence to its stable of quick-but-small forwards as it prepares to depart Friday for the third phase of its preseason training in Argentina.
"We're very, very happy with all the forwards that we have right now," coach Jason Kreis said after a training session in Park City. "But they're all very similar. So to have somebody who can bring something different to the table should be a nice addition."
Deuchar has scored 10 goals in his last 21 league games for Gretna, and told KALL Radio that he piqued RSL's interest by sending the team videos of his performances.
Then, when general manager Garth Lagerwey traveled to watch Deuchar play last weekend, the 27-year-old scored both goals in a 4-2 loss to the legendary Glasgow Rangers.
Deuchar is the latest in a series of offseason acquisitions, including defender Ian Joy - an American who was raised in Scotland. According to Deuchar, Joy grew up not far from him, and provided a positive scouting report about RSL in a phone call before Deuchar signed.
"He had only good things to say," Deuchar said.
Meanwhile, RSL is hoping that newly acquired midfielder Dema Kovalenko and defender Jamison Olave of Colombia will have visa issues resolved in time to join it in Argentina - though three current players won't make the trip. Striker Robbie Findley, midfielder Nathan Sturgis and goalkeeper Chris Seitz have been called into training camp for the U.S. Olympic Team as it prepares for a qualifying tournament next month for the upcoming Beijing Games in China.