The 2017 season for Real Salt Lake is expected to be one of rather significant change, and some moves the team announced Wednesday were in alignment with that notion.
The club announced that it did not exercise contract options on longtime stalwarts Javier Morales and Jamison Olave, both of whom expressed after the season that they would not return.
Additionally, RSL did not exercise the contract options on Olmes Garcia, John Stertzer, Phanuel Kavita, Boyd Okwuonu and Emery Welshman.
RSL did exercise the options for goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez, defenders Chris Schuler, Demar Phillips and Justen Glad and forward Ricardo Velazco.
The loan for Pedro Baez expired and he will return to Cerro Porteno in Paraguay, while Devon Sandoval, Chris Wingert and Aaron Maund are not yet on contract for 2017.
RSL's roster currently has 17 players.
“With the current players under contract, we have a good base to enter the offseason,” general manager Craig Waibel said in a statement. “We had success in 2016 in getting back into the playoffs and now we look to take the next steps to move forward. Our objective is to get younger this year and we have a good mixture of young players and veterans that can really shape this team as it moves forward into the next stages.”
The team went 12-12-10 in 2016 and sneaked into the playoffs as the sixth seed in the Western Conference. It lost in the first round of the postseason to the L.A. Galaxy.
After a great deal of speculation about his job stability, head coach Jeff Cassar was retained for the 2017 season.
Ryan McDonald is a sports reporter at DeseretNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanwmcdonald.