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Mar 28, 2008 

Real Salt Lake Still Spinning Its Wheels

Real's Robbie Findley will have to juggle MLS duty with the Beijing Olympics this season


2006 Record: 6-15-9, 27 points (6th in Western Conference).
Head Coach: Jason Kreis.
In: Matias Cordoba, Dema Kovalenko, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Ian Joy, Jamison Olave, Kenny Deuchar.
Out: Chris Brown, Kyle Brown, Eddie Pope (ret.), Alecko Eskandarian, Atiba Harris, Jamie Watson, Jean-Martial Kipre, Ritchie Kotschau

Starting Lineup: Nick Rimando; Matias Mantilla, Ian Joy, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Javier Morales, Kyle Beckerman, Dema Kovalenko, Nate Sturgis; Robbie Findlay, Kenny Deuchar.

Strengths: Few teams have a better tandem in goal than Real Salt Lake. With Rimando and U-23 netminder, Chris Seitz, Real is set for years. If the newly-minted midfield can distribute the ball to their forwards, Findley and Dr. Goal, Deucher, Salt Lake should greatly improve on one goal per game average of last year.

Weaknesses: Another season in Utah equals yet another overhaul of the roster. Is Kreis and GM Garth Lagerway just making changes for change sake? It's going to take some time for this latest edition of Real Salt Lake to make any sense.

Outlook: The sense is that Real Salt Lake is still spinning its wheels. There's a lot of bits and pieces within the team's personnel that leads one to believe Real Salt Lake is nothing more than a hodge-podge of soccer talent. Once Seitz returns from Olympic duty, trading Rimando for another piece of puzzle might be wise. Aside from his intriguing nickname and story, Dr. Goal, at 6-4 should be a popular fantasy choice.

Prediction: 6th place in Western Conference.

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