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Landon Donovan Reportedly Interviews for Real Salt Lake Head Coaching Vacancy

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Former United States soccer star Landon Donovan has been interviewed to become head coach of Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer, according to Sam Stejskal of The Athletic. 

The long-time USMNT mainstay is currently the manager and executive vice president of soccer operations for the San Diego Loyal in the USL Championship. He’s 11-8-8 since he began coaching in November 2019 and has also worked with Lincoln City FC and the MLS Homegrown Game. 

Real Salt Lake has only had two full-time head coaches since March 2017. Daryl Shore (1-1) coached two games on an interim basis to close out the 2017 season and was replaced by Mike Petke (37-39-15) the following year. Freddy Juarez (18-14-23) took over on an interim basis in August 2019 and had the interim tag removed in December of that year. 

Pablo Mastroeni has been RSL’s interim coach since August 27, 2021. He’s 1-2-0 since becoming manager. 

Despite making the quarterfinals of the MLS playoffs in 2018 and 2019, RSL has yet to win a league title. Donovan is now an option to help it do so. 

Per Stejskal:

“Donovan is one of a large number of candidates the club has spoken to in the opening stages of its search, which began after former head coach Freddy Juarez left Salt Lake to become an assistant with the Seattle Sounders on Aug. 27. Sources said the club has also spoken with legendary club figure Jason Kreis, who coached RSL from 2007-2013 and is currently an assistant at Inter Miami, and Atlanta United assistant Rob Valentino, who earned widespread praise for the work he did as interim head coach of the Five Stripes earlier this year.

“Sources indicated that RSL have not yet progressed to its final round of interviews. The club is currently being led on an interim basis by Pablo Mastroeni, who was elevated from his role as assistant coach after Juarez left for Seattle. Mastroeni is 1-2-0 as manager heading into RSL’s match at San Jose on Wednesday night.”

The Athletic noted the club continues to canvass for new coaches and has “a decent amount” of work left before it extends an offer to any candidate. 

Donovan, 39, appears very much in the mix, but it’ll be some time before fans learn if he’s indeed the club’s choice to lead the team into the future. If he is, RSL will add someone who has appeared in 157 international matches with 57 goals to their staff.

 

 

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