SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake removed the interim title and announced that Freddy Juarez has been named the fifth Head Coach in the club’s history, after coaching at every level in the organization.
The club also made Elliot Fall the permanent general manager.
“When you look at Freddy and the progression that he has taken, he has the natural heart to develop. He will constantly develop players and help them improve their game and he’s done that for 10 years,” Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen said. “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 Real Salt Lake since August 11, leading 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. He 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 Real Salt Lake’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.
In August, he took the helm as Interim Head Coach, with RSL going 5-4-1 in the final 10 matches in that role after posting a 2-0-1 record in his three matches as acting head coach prior to being named in the interim role.
“Having gone through everything with the Academy and the Monarchs and now being able to lead the organization with the first team is awesome. 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,” Juarez said. “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.
Real Salt Lake has led Major League Soccer in minutes played by Academy products in each of the last two seasons and reached the Western Conference Semifinals in both seasons. With Real Monarchs reaching the USL Championship Final in 2019 and the USL Regular Season Shield in 2017, RSL’s youth development structure has shown an ability to develop young players coming through the RSL Academy as well as those joining from other organizations.
Fall was been named the fourth General Manager in the club’s history after five years as Assistant General Manager, while former RSL defender Tony Beltran has also been hired as Assistant General Manager.
“Today is a big day for Real Salt Lake and we are proud to recognize the development of Elliot Fall, Dan Egner and Tony Beltran,” Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen said. “All three have honed their skills in the organization and we are confident in their abilities to help us reach our goals to be among the top teams in the Western Conference and to win championships.”
Fall has served in different capacities at Real Salt Lake 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.
“It’s a huge job. 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,” Fall said. “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.”
Originally selected by Real Salt Lake with the third overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, Beltran spent his entire 12-year MLS career with RSL. Since making his debut in April of 2008, he was a staple in the RSL lineup, starting in 230 of his 245 regular season appearances. From 2012-2016, he averaged 28 starts and over 2,500 minutes per season, making him a mainstay in Salt Lake’s starting XI over that stretch. In his career, he had one goal – which came in 2017 – and 12 assists while establishing himself as one of the premier 1v1 defending outside backs in the league. He was part of the MLS Cup-winning team in 2009 and helped RSL reach finals in the 2010-2011 CONACAF Champions League, 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and 2013 MLS Cup. For his efforts, he was named to the MLS All-Star teams in 2013 and 2015 and made three appearances for the U.S. National Team in 2013 and 2014.
A native of Claremont, California, Beltran, 32, played collegiately at St. John’s University and UCLA. He earned his degree from Southern New Hampshire University.
Beltran will be responsible for assisting Fall and Egner in player personnel decisions, managing the coaching staff at all levels including coaching development, game day analysis and training session analysis and in designing, implementing and supervising integration of team curriculum at all levels.
“Staying in soccer and continuing to work with RSL is the right thing for me to do beyond my playing career. The club has been my home for twelve years, and I care deeply about its future. Discussions with Mr. Hansen and the front office staff about their vision for the organization cemented this truth; I want to remain part of where RSL is heading,” Beltran said. “I’m thankful to all involved in entrusting me with the opportunity to do so as Assistant General Manager. In this new role I will continue to always value the wellbeing of the organization, while never forgetting the club’s responsibility as an heir of pride for the community.”
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 the club has established the best home record in MLS.