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Less than a week after taking to Twitter to announce his departure from Real Salt Lake after a decade as the club's primary playmaker, Javier Morales returned Wednesday to post another update. The 36-year-old Argentine who tallied 49 goals and 81 assists in 10 seasons at RSL thanked fans for their support after his announcement.
"Once again you've made me feel like I belong here," he said. "There have been a lot of rumors about my announcement last week and unfortunately most of them are wrong. I am not retiring and I am not leaving because I want to."
Morales said he plans on holding his own press conference Thursday at the Marriott at City Creek to further clarify why he won't be back at RSL in 2017.
While RSL fans eagerly await what looks to be Morales' public goodbye to Utah, general manager Craig Waibel and head coach Jeff Cassar who will be back at RSL in 2017 as announced Wednesday were asked about the recent development with one of the club's most-beloved players to date.
"I think obviously whenever there's very difficult decisions to be made, there's a lot of emotion, and I 100 percent appreciate the fact that Javi has taken a week to digest information," Waibel said. "I think inevitably in those meetings where there's a lot of emotion, there's a lot of information that gets missed and misinterpreted. I think that we've had a good amount of time to kind of evaluate it. I have a lot of respect for him and obviously everything he's done for the club.
"I'm interested to hear what he has to say about his experience and to the fans. I still think there's more conversations to be had between the club and Javier. I don't think that by any stretch of the imagination there's an end of a relationship. I still think there's optimism."
Cassar said he's had "many sleepless nights" since Morales announced his departure from the club.
"It's literally one of the hardest things as a coach is to see someone like him leave a club," Cassar continued. "I care about these players more as people and more as family members than I do as players especially ones that have been here so long. That's just the kind of person I am."