LEHI A familiar face was back training with Real Salt Lake at Xango Field on Monday. Clint Mathis, who was with RSL in its inaugural season, was back on the pitch.
The 31-year-old recently returned from an unsuccessful trial with a Norwegian club. Wanting to stay in shape, the midfielder/forward donned his practice gear for his former team. Mathis trained with the team earlier in the summer before going over seas, but any chances of his rejoining the club would be speculation at this point. His rights are still retained by the Los Angeles Galaxy and an agreement would have to be reached before he could be signed.
There would be room for Mathis as Real has two open senior roster spots with the departure of Matias Mantilla. The Argentine defender was officially released on Monday. Word spread last week that Mantilla, unhappy over his diminished role with the club, was pursuing a return to playing in his native Argentina. The other 13 MLS teams have until Wednesday to pick up the rights to Mantilla.
"Matias joined us last year and made an immediate impact to improve our team," said RSLgeneral manager Garth Lagerwey in a press release. "He is a good player and a great teammate. Unfortunately, with the emergence of Jamison Olave, Matias would have had a diminished role in the team going forward and we felt we should allow him to pursue other opportunities. We wish him all the best and thank him for his service to Real Salt Lake."
Lagerway and the rest of the front office for the team are busy at work evaluating what to do with those two roster spots as the open transfer window ends on Friday.
REAL SCHEDULES FRIENDLY: Real announced that it has scheduled an international friendly against Univeridad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (U.A.N.L.), more commonly known as Tigres, for Wednesday, Sept. 3, at 8 p.m. at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The Mexican first division team from the Monterrey area has just begun its regular season and currently boasts a 2-0-1 record. Tigres has a couple of league titles to its credit (1978, '82) and a pair of Mexican Cups ('76, '96).Tickets for the match are included in season ticket packages and Royal Club members can purchase additional seats before they go on sale to the general public today at noon.