SANDY, Utah (Monday, March 20, 2017) – Real Salt Lake announced on Monday that the club has dismissed Head Coach Jeff Cassar. The club will host a conference call on Monday at 5 p.m. MT with General Manager Craig Waibel to discuss the direction of the club and the timeline for naming a new Head Coach.
“We want to thank Jeff for his many contributions to the success of Real Salt Lake over the past decade, including our championship run in 2009. Jeff has always handled himself with class and dignity and represented the organization and community extremely well,” RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen said. “We wish Jeff and his family much success in their future endeavors.”
Cassar, 43, first came to the organization as an assistant coach under Jason Kreis in 2007 and remained in that role through the 2013 season. During that span, RSL reached the MLS Cup final twice, winning the league title in 2009 in a dramatic shootout win over the LA Galaxy. The club also reached finals in the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League – the first MLS club to do so – and the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
He took over the position of Head Coach prior to the 2014 season and went 38-37-30 in his tenure, reaching the playoffs in two of his three full seasons. RSL qualified for CONCACAF Champions League in 2014 and advanced to the Quarterfinal Round of the tournament before falling to UANL Tigres. However, the club went on a seven-match winless streak to conclude the 2016 season and through three matches this season has gone 0-2-1 with one goal scored.
“At the conclusion of last season, we felt that while we were disappointed in the end result, Jeff had done enough to earn another shot to lead the team in the 2017 campaign. We have a high sense of urgency for progress this season, and have made many off-season changes towards that endeavor. So, while these decisions are always difficult, we, as an organization, felt that it was necessary to make the change in our head coaching position now,” Waibel said. “The process for a hiring new head coach to lead the club has already begun. We will work quickly and diligently to ensure that we find the right leader that shares our values, passion, commitment and vision.”
During the process of hiring the next head coach, RSL Director of Goalkeeping Daryl Shorewill serve as Interim Head Coach. Shore joined Real Salt Lake as Goalkeeper Coach in January 2014. Prior to joining RSL, he served as Head Coach of the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL from 2010-2013 and was Goalkeeper Coach for the Chicago Fire from 2000-2010.
The rest of the RSL technical department will remain on staff.
Real Salt Lake will return to training on Tuesday before the cross-country trip to New Jersey to face the New York Red Bulls on Saturday at Red Bull Arena.