Real Salt Lake names head coach, general manager

Freddy Juarez (left) has been named Real Salt Lake's head coach. Photo Courtesy: RSL

SANDY, Utah, Dec. 3, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Real Salt Lake today announced that Freddy Juarez has been named the fifth head coach in the club’s history, after coaching at every level in the organization, officials said.

“When you look at Freddy and the progression that he has taken, he has the natural heart to develop,” Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen said, by way of a news release. “He will constantly develop players and help them improve their game and he’s done that for 10 years.

“Players love to play for Freddy. He’s a father figure and he’s respected. He’s beloved and that’s hard to find in a coach.”

Juarez has been serving as interim head coach at RSL since Aug. 11, when the contract of former head coach Mike Petke was terminated after he allegedly hurled homophobic slurs, in Spanish, at referees after the Leagues Cup game against Tigres UANL on July 24.

Since being appointed interim head coach, Juarez has led RSL to third place in the Western Conference and a berth in the Western Conference Semifinals after a First Round home win against the Portland Timbers.

Juarez, 41, originally joined the Real Salt Lake organization as RSL Academy head coach in 2010, winning the USSDA U-16 Championship in 2012 with a roster that boasted future RSL players DF Justen Glad, DF/FW Brooks Lennon and FW Sebastian Saucedo, among others, the news release said.

Juarez remained with the Academy until being promoted to head coach of Real Monarchs SLC in the club’s inaugural season in the USL in 2015. After two seasons in that post, he was again promoted to RSL’s coaching staff as an assistant coach, where “he has played an integral role in continued youth development at the MLS level and in implementing tactical approaches that have helped RSL improve in the standings in each of his three years on staff,” the news release said.

In August, when Juarez took the helm as interim head coach, RSL went 5-4-1 in the final 10 matches after posting a 2-0-1 record in his three matches as acting head coach.

“Having gone through everything with the Academy and the Monarchs and now being able to lead the organization with the first team is awesome,” Juarez said. “It’s something I never dreamed of, but it’s what I’ve been working for in continuing to get better as a coach and leader.

“I want to thank Mr. Hansen for the opportunity and trust that he has placed in me and the fans for their support. I can’t wait for the season to start in 2020.”

A native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Juarez played 10 seasons in the USL for the El Paso Patriots and Minnesota Thunder before retiring in 2007. Throughout his playing career, he coached at the youth levels and continued in that capacity upon his retirement.

In addition, RSL announced that Elliot Fall has been named the fourth general manager in the club’s history after five years as assistant general manager. USL Championship-winning Real Monarchs general manager Dan Egner has been promoted to technical director and two-time MLS All-Star Tony Beltran has also been hired as assistant general manager.

“Today is a big day for RSL and we are excited at the development of Elliot, Dan and Tony,” RSL owner Hansen said. “All three also have a great passion for the organization and a drive to see RSL succeed. Elliot and Dan have been instrumental in constructing our vision and their progression up the ladder at RSL makes them uniquely qualified to continue building our teams moving forward.

“Tony is a fantastic addition to the staff, bringing with him years of MLS experience. His humility and work ethic are unmatched and his knowledge of the league inside and out really complements the staff we have in place.”

Fall has served in different capacities at RSL since 2007.  During the 2013-2014 seasons, he worked closely with former general manager Garth Lagerwey as director of soccer operations.  In November of 2014, Fall was named assistant general manager and has held that position for five seasons.  In each of those roles, he assisted in player acquisition and retention as well as in player development, overseeing the Real Monarchs and the RSL Academy at different stages.

A graduate of the University of Utah and Salt Lake City’s Judge Memorial Catholic High School, Fall is a lifelong Salt Lake City resident. At 34 years old, he is the youngest general manager in major league soccer, the news release said.

“It’s a huge job,” Fall said. “It’s a lot of responsibility. This is a club that I’ve grown up in, a club that I’ve been a fan of and a club that I’ve worked my entire career in. I’m really excited to get going and start building a winner. I’ve had the honor of working under a lot of special people here. Working directly for Garth Lagerwey, Jason Kreis, Bill Manning and Craig Waibel, I’ve had a lot of people to learn from and seen a lot of success along the way. I feel like I have a good idea of what success looks like and now we’ve got to keep pushing ourselves forward.”

RSL has reached the postseason 10 times in the last 12 seasons, winning MLS Cup in 2009 and advancing to the MLS Cup Final in 2013. Originally established in 2004, Real Salt Lake opened its inaugural season in 2005 at Rice-Eccles Stadium on the University of Utah campus before moving to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, late in the 2008 season, where it has established the best home record in MLS.

Elliot Fall. Photo Courtesy: RSL

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