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Dell Loy Hansen broke news Tuesday night. A lot of news. The Real Salt Lake owner in an appearance on RSL's flagship radio station ESPN700 told host Bill Riley that the club recently finalized agreements on three-year contract extensions for RSL pillars Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando.
Hansen also broke the news that the club has purchased the rights to Joao Plata in their entirety and that a new five-year contract is on the cusp of being finalized. The 22-year-old Ecuadorian enjoyed a breakout season with RSL in 2014, leading the club with 13 goals also having six assists.
"There's a few dollars to write that check, but we want Plata there," Hansen said.
With the impending departure of general manager Garth Lagerwey reportedly to the Seattle Sounders as well as the hiring of assistant coach Craig Waibel as technical director, Hansen touched on a series of questions during his time on the radio Tuesday evening.
A farewell party of Lagerwey is slated for Wednesday at 5 p.m. Hansen said.
"Garth has opportunities, but I'm obviously not going to talk about those because they're in negotiation and when he gets to that opportunity that he wants to talk about, he'll be the one to announce it," he said.
When Riley asked if there were any philosophical differences between he and Lagerwey, Hansen said no.
"I consider him a friend, we debate politics together, we had a breakfast for two hours the other day. I don't sense any philosophical problems with Garth and I," Hansen said. "I think you get to a point in soccer that you're looking at what more is there? And if you've done eight years and you're in Salt Lake, you want to stick your head up in a league that's growing, adding teams all the time and saying, 'What possibilities exist out there?'
Hansen said a couple weeks ago he and Lagerwey spent time at the Little America and talked about opportunities and what was on the horizon. With Lagerwey's contract soon ending, Hansen said he needed to move forward if Lagerwey was to explore other options.
"We had looked at a variety of candidates and it's amazing, right in our midst, was Craig Waibel," he said.
In an interesting sidenote, Hansen said the Sounders actually asked permission to speak to Waibel for a potential coaching spot, but since he was the primary target to replace Lagerwey, RSL declined.
The announcement of new deals for Beckerman, Rimando and Plata come a week after the club was forced to part ways with veterans Nat Borchers, Ned Grabavoy, Chris Wingert and Robbie Findley through trade or respective offseason drafts. Both Beckerman (32) and Rimando (35) were part of this summer's U.S. men's national team squad at the World Cup in Brazil. Beckerman started all three group matches for the U.S. and upon his return, Rimando would break the the league's all-time regular-season shutout record on Aug. 9.
Hansen later said on his interview on ESPN700 that he expects the 2015 version of RSL to be the best team the club has fielded since the record-setting season of 2010, which produced the memorable CONCACAF Champions League run.
There was also a hint at perhaps changing formation to take advantage of the club's deep forward corps. But that's a different conversation for a different day.
For those interested in the full audio clip of Hansen's appearance Tuesday night, click here.