You hope for the best and prepare for the worst. The good thing is the communication is there. —Nick Rimando
SANDY — The dreadlocks are gone, Yura Movsisyan has no plans on setting on the bench again, and Justen Glad is ready to bulk up. Those were among the storylines that emerged from Real Salt Lake’s final player availability at their exit physicals on Wednesday night.
Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando are out of their contracts heading into the offseason, and they each expressed the hope of getting a new contract ironed out soon.
Beckerman, who cut off his patented dreadlocks the day after RSL’s final game, seems upbeat about returning in 2018.
“We’re still talking. I’m definitely hopeful. Hopefully we can get it finished and we can get back to work,” said Beckerman.
As for lopping off the dreadlocks he’s been growing since 2005, Beckerman said there was no specific reason why.
“The second-half of the season had a real energizing feel, and I don’t know if that pushed me to it. My wife and I just started snipping some on Monday after the game, and just kept going,” said Beckerman.
Some of Beckerman’s teammates saw him for the first time at the exit physicals on Wednesday and there was definitely some shock among the group about his clean-cut look.
Beckerman believes there was an unfinished business feeling around the club after missing the playoffs by one point, and he’s anxious to get back to work if a new contract is signed.
“It was something that we started this year that can take us along. I really feel like this year and the year after we have a window that we can start winning some trophies, and that goes for next year,” said Beckerman. “We have a lot of offseason stuff we have to do and improve the team, but if we do it in the right way I think we have a window we can win some trophies.”
Rimando’s tone wasn’t nearly as upbeat, but he’s hopeful everything gets resolved within the week.
“You hope for the best and prepare for the worst. The good thing is the communication is there,” said Rimando.
While Beckerman and Rimando expressed hope of returning, Movsisyan’s return seems unlikely, even though he didn’t rule it out.
“For me being at the stage I am, I’m not going to come back and sit on the bench again. For sure I can say that’s not going to happen. They can decide, and my representatives can decide with them,” said Movsisyan.
The 30-year-old striker only started 16 games this season after starting 25 a year ago. He only started once in the final 14 games.
“I’m disappointed I didn’t get to contribute as much as I thought I should’ve. Extremely disappointed,” said Movsisyan. “When you have a coaching change, that can go both ways. Obviously, for me, it went the wrong way. Still, until today, I don’t know why.”
Missing the playoffs added to the frustration. Midfielder Albert Rusnak echoed the frustration of missing the playoffs, and he’s anxious to get back to work in what he hopes is a productive offseason.
He’s heading to Europe on Thursday for a two-week stint with Slovakia’s National Team, after which he plans on returning to Utah for a few weeks of relaxation. He’ll then resume training with an eye on the 2018 season.
“I have some goals I want to reach in the offseason on my personal terms, so I’ll probably start working at the start of December again,” said Rusnak.
Glad plans on getting right to work in bulking up in the coming months.
“Train hard, get big and get ready for next season,” is how Glad described his upcoming offseason.
He said it’s all about getting stronger for the physical battles that a center back goes through during the course of 90 minutes. Glad said some extra muscle will help him deal with players like Portland’s Fanendo Adi.
“He’s massive. That’s always who I’m thinking of when I’m in the gym,” said Glad.