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Real Salt Lake going back to the future with Robbie Findley

Jan 15, 2013, 7:30 AM EDT

Robbie Findley-US

Real Salt Lake has just gone a long way to replacing the front line power lost when Fabian Espindola’s firebrand talent was shipped to New York in a December trade.

Looks like the gang from Rio Tinto is going back to the future with Robbie Findley.

Findley was a second-round pick of the LA Galaxy back in 2007 but made his MLS bones at Real Salt Lake.

In four years and one short of 100 games, Findley had a respectable 29 goals for RSL, even if he never quite fully nailed down that starting spot under manager Jason Kreis.

He signed with Nottingham Forest two years ago but never established his place at the once prominent City Ground. So now, at 27, he appears to be back in MLS and back with RSL.

Still unresolved is how Findley, who has 11 full international caps for the United States, will arrive into Utah when the Portland Timbers own his rights? In a fairly savvy move, as it turns out, Portland took Findley in the 2010 expansion draft. The striker had already stated his intention to move abroad, so it was a calculated risk for the Timbers, who were wagering that he would, in fact, return to the league.

Well played, sirs.

  1. theasoccerist - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    Steve – interesting post. It raises an underlying question about how scouting and team strategy has changed over the years. Its only natural, as the league matures, that you get savvier moves, like this one. But it is even more impressive from an expansion team, dont you think?

    I looked at how the first round fared for teams a couple of years ago – but what do we know about the technical skills in the front office? Do you have any interest in doing profiles of how MLS is taking on soccer analytics and other tools to assess talent and plan for draft day etc?

    • Steve Davis - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      Sure, credit for this one. I think it’s fair to say that Portland has had a few hits … but quite a few swinging misses, too.

  2. wesbadia - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    The real question is what RSL gave to Portland in exchange for Findley’s rights. Draft pick? A piece of that allocation money they got a month ago? Clearly it wasn’t a player. Perhaps it was part of the deal for Will Johnson? Who knows… we can only make assumptions until MLS decides to release some sort of info on it.

    But we can hypothesize that it was a draft pick. And, if so, how does that change RSL’s draft strategy for Thursday? Do they still go after a young striker to mold, or do they spend it on midfield or backline depth? Judging by the comments from the ETR guys, a lot of teams have been talking about trades down in Florida. One would think RSL is one of those teams.

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