Real Salt Lake hopes the second time is a charm.
Clint Mathis is being reacquired by the club from the Los Angeles Galaxy. It will not become official until Mathis clears some paperwork from Greece, where he spent some time playing, but RSL General Manager Garth Lagerway confirmed that it is merely a matter of time until the deal becomes official.
"We've added Clint because we feel he can help us in any one of four attacking positions," Lagerway said. "He can play the off-forward spot, and any of the attacking midfield positions. He adds depth for us, and he is a player that can really distribute the ball and cause problems for the other team."
That was also the plan for Mathis four years ago when he was on the RSL roster for its inaugural season. Whether it was too many expectations, lack of fitness, lack of commitment or bad chemistry with the other players, Mathis' first stint with the team was a disappointment. He played in 27 games, scoring three goals and adding four assists and was traded after the 2005 season to Colorado for Jeff Cunningham.
Mathis played 2006 with Colorado, scoring two goals with one assist, and was with New York in 2007, scoring six goals and two assists. He has since played in Greece and had a trial with a team in Norway before landing back in Salt Lake.
For his career, he has played in 210 MLS games, scoring 59 goals with 45 assists. His mouth and temper has earned him 39 yellow cards and eight ejections during his 11-year career.
So what makes the team feel this time can be any different?
"We just want Clint to be a good teammate," Lagerway said. "We have a great group of guys already, and all we want is for him to come in and complement them. We think he can do that.
"He just had his first baby on Monday, a little boy named Maximus; that can change anyone. Clint is psyched to be here, and this time he really wants to be here and to succeed. A player with his talent and ability with a desire to go out and help in any way can only be a good thing for our club."Depending on the number of games Mathis appears in for Real, the team will send either a third- or fourth-round pick to the Galaxy in the 2010 draft. Mathis and the club hope to have his international pass in time for him to join the team on its trip to Houston for Saturday's game against the Dynamo.