Coaching & Technical Staff
Former Major League Soccer goalkeeper Jeff Cassar joined the Real Salt Lake technical staff on May 24, 2007, exactly three weeks after his former teammate Jason Kreis assumed the head coaching duties for Real Salt Lake.
Under Cassar and the entire RSL Technical Staff, goalkeeping and defensive performances at Real Salt Lake have established new standards for Major League Soccer. The 2010 season was a record-setting campaign, as the RSL goalkeeping contingent of Nick Rimando and Kyle Reynish allowed just 20 goals across 30 league games –surpassing the previous low of 23 season matches. Rimando was recognized as an MLS All-Star for his work with Cassar, and was one of three finalists for 2010 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. Reynish shone well for a young player in his limited Open Cup, regular-season and CONCACAF action spelling Rimando, a testamentto the manner in which Cassar’s experience deftly guides netminders at various career stages.
Cassar has been involved in Major League Soccer since the league’s inception in 1996, spending 11 seasons between the posts for three squads from 1996-2006 before retiring to become FC Dallas’s goalkeeper coach in January 2007. During his career with Dallas (1996-97, 2003-06), Miami Fusion FC (1998-2001), and the MetroStars (2002), Cassar made 79 appearances (76 starts), posting a 1.76 goals against average, a 28-36-10 record, and recording 13 shutouts. Prior to his entry into the college and professional ranks, the Michigan native appeared numerous times for the U.S. U-18, U-20, and Olympic National Team programs.
Mr. Cassar also appeared in five MLS Cup Playoff contests while with the Fusion and helped a pair of squads – the 2000 Fusion and 2005 FC Dallas teams – reach the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. In addition to his MLS experience, Mr. Cassar also spent time with English sides Ipswich Town and Bolton Wanderers following the 2002 season before returning to Dallas in the summer of 2003.
Mr. Cassar is also intimately linked to several Real Salt Lake personalities, both past and present. On top of his Kreis connections, Mr. Cassar competed for playing time in Miami with current RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey as well as current RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando. During his second stint with Dallas, Mr. Cassar would become teammates with former RSL netminders D.J. Countess and later, Scott Garlick.
Mr. Cassar resides with his wife, Jennifer, in Sandy, UT, and has three children – daughters Sloan and Dylan and son Luke.
A former MLS player, Joseph started his coaching career with a number of milestones in Real Salt Lake’s history-making 2010 campaign. Fans saw an RSL team set innumerable team records and set various League marks under the tutelage of Joseph and the RSL Technical Staff, including a new mark for goal difference (+25) in the non-shootout era. Last year, RSL became the first U.S./Canadian team to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League Final, dropping a 2-3 aggregate scoreline to Monterrey (Mex.).
Mr. Joseph, a native of Clifton, N.Y., played in six MLS seasons from 1996-2001 for the (NY/NJ) MetroStars, Columbus Crew and Dallas Burn. Joseph scored 12 career goals in 125 total games for the teams, and was a teammate of current RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis during the 2001 campaign in Dallas.
Joseph earned All-America honors at Clemson University – where he was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference 50th Anniversary Team – before being drafted with the 12th overall pick in the 1996 MLS College Draft by the MetroStars. A standout on the United States U-18 and U-20 Men’s National Teams, Joseph was selected for the roster of the U.S. team at the 1993 U-20 World Cup held in Australia, scoring a goal in the 6-0 victory over Turkey. The U.S. went 1-1-1 in group play, qualifying for the second round where it fell to Brazil.
In 1996, U.S. coach Bruce Arena named Joseph to that year’s U.S. Men’s Olympic Team, participating in the Atlanta Summer Games. Once again, the team went 1-1-1, but this time failed to make the second round. Joseph earned his first cap with the full U.S. National Team when he came on for Cobi Jones in the 89th minute of a 3-1 win over El Salvador on August 30,1996. In addition to having been coached by National Soccer Hall of Fame manager Arena, Joseph has also gained knowledge and experience while playing for international luminaries Fabio Capello (the former England National Team coach oversaw Joseph’s trial with AC Milan in 1997), Carlos Quieroz (current Portugal National Team Coach), Carlos Alberto Parreira (former Brazil National Team Coach) and Bora Milutinovic (Bora coached five different National Teams), each of whom managed the MetroStars during Joseph’s MLS career.
Since 2003, Joseph had been the Technical Director and Director of Coaching for the Players Soccer Academy. Joseph also concurrently served as Executive Director of NY Elite FC, located in his hometown of Clifton Park, N.Y., a club that is presently composed of 25 elite boys and girls teams. Prior to those positions, Joseph served as an Assistant Coach on the Siena College women’s program. During his Shenendehowa High School career, Joseph won three N.Y. state championships, and was named the Gatorade H.S. Player of the Year while earning All-America honors.
Joseph and his wife Leann live in Park City with their two children.
Dan Barlow is the longest-tenured member of the RSL Technical Staff, hired two months prior to current Head Coach Jason Kreis as the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coach. Barlow has transformed RSL into one of the fittest clubs in MLS, taking advantage of the home venue’s altitude and managing player fitness under the demands of the long domestic season and grueling international travel.
Under Barlow’s evolving technique and guidance, RSL players see their fitness routines and nutritional intakes constantly monitored, even during the brief offseason between campaigns. In season, weights, resistance and aerobic programs are installed to ensure peak performance during the long and often arduous MLS season, which usually sees RSL also competing in concurrent tournaments, such as CONCACAF Champions League and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Mr. Barlow’s decade of expertise includes the development of training and conditioning programs for professional athletes and teams, in addition to designing college, corporate, and in-home fitness facilities. Prior to his consultation services, Mr. Barlow spent three years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the Univ. of Maryland, where he worked with a wide variety of athletes, and three years as the Terrapins’ Graduate Assistant for Fitness.
Mr. Barlow earned his Masters degree in Exercise Physiology at the Univ. of Maryland, one of the Nation’s Top 10 Kinesiology programs, and also holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Bethany College. Barlow resides with his wife, Laura, daughter Elliane and personable dog Milo in Cottonwood Heights.
Elliot Fall assumed new duties in 2013 for Real Salt Lake, becoming the team's first-ever Director of Soccer Operations after spending three years as Team Administrator. A native of Salt Lake City, the Judge Memorial High School and University of Utah alum worked in the RSL Communications department from 2007-09. Bringing a veritable cornucopia of talents to the job every day - including a quick wit, a font of pop-culture knowledge and an affinity for video editing - Fall’s enthusiastic attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes for the team make him an invaluable asset to both Real Salt Lake and Rio Tinto Stadium.
Fall is (shocking!) no longer single and resides in Holladay.
One of the most dedicated members of the RSL front office, Salvador Perez became the Claret-and-Cobalt Team Administrator in 2013 after spending four years as the team's Manager of Hispanic Marketing and Sales. As Team Admin, Perez oversees and executes all logistics surrounding the team, including training and travel schedule, road accomodations and various front office interactions for the technical staff and players. Perez attended the Colegio Latinoamericano in his native Mexico City, Mexico.
Tyson Pace enters his third full season as Real Salt Lake’s Head Athletic Trainer following a pair of full-time seasons as the squad’s Assistant Athletic Trainer via partnership with Sports Med Utah and the Salt Lake Regional Medical Center. After working with the squad on a part-time basis throughout 2008, the bilingual Pace was quickly embraced inside the locker room as a key figure regarding the team’s daily fitness, weight- training and rest and recovery routines, in an effort to keep each player in optimal shape to perform at their very best throughout the grueling MLS season.
Mr. Pace received his Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from the University of Utah, and continued his studies at the U of U to receive a Master’s degree in Sports Psychology. Prior to his stint with Real Salt Lake, Pace spent five years as a Certified Athletic Trainer at the NCAA Division I level with the Utes football and baseball programs. Pace and his wife Amy reside in Clearfield, UT, with their two daughters, Taya and Shaylee.
Kevin Christen joined Real Salt Lake as a new staff member in 2011, working closely with players, doctors, coaches and other medical staff to provide all the medical care and rehabilitation services they require. The South Jordan, UT, native joined RSL from United States Speedskating, where he worked as Head Athletic Trainer for the National Short Track Team. Christen also worked with various teams and institutions through Sports Med Utah, including Odyssey Dance Company and surrounding dance companies. Certified as an ATC in 2008, Christen earned a Masters in Sports Medicine from University of Utah, focusing on the Utes Baseball Team. Mr. Christen was married in September of 2002 to his wife Brooke and the couple currently resides in South Jordan, Utah, with their two daughters Ella Grace and Lola Faith.
Mike Fratto is in his second season as RSL's Equipment Manager, executing daily equipment-related duties for the team after working with Real Salt Lake since the 2006 season as the team’s massage therapist. The meticulous Fratto graduated from the Professional Massage Therapy Program at the Salt Lake City campus of the Utah College of Massage Therapy Family of Schools in June of 1999, coming to UCMT after having sustained an injury to his back while training for a soccer team. Knowing that he would no longer be able to play at the same level previous to his injury, Mike decided to focus his energy on the healing aspect of massage and sports injury and enrolled in the program. Upon graduating, Mike began his career in the massage industry working with the NORBA Mountain Bike Racing Team that summer. By the fall of that same year he had a position with the Utah Blitzz, RSL’s predecessor.
After plying his trade in Major League Soccer from 1998-2011, former Real Salt Lake midfielder Andy Williams announced his retirement from professional soccer on Dec. 6, 2011, marking the end of an era for the last remaining on-field “RSL Original” from the Utah side’s 2005 inaugural season. While he no longer suits up in the team’s familiar Claret-and-Cobalt colors on the field, the RSL fan-favorite remains with the club as its Head Scout.
“I wouldn’t change [my time with RSL] for the world, and I’m glad I came to Salt Lake City, as my family and I have been able to call the area home,” said an emotional Williams after announcing his retirement and becoming Head Scout. “I’m excited about the opportunity the front office has given me by allowing me to continue to be a part of RSL. I think I’ve got a lot to offer off the field and I look forward to helping bring in players that will make our team better and hopefully provide some more championship rings. The transition will be a learning opportunity for me, but I couldn’t be happier to do it on behalf of the team, fans and city that I love. I’m going to take this new endeavor and put all of my heart into it, just like I did on the field.”
Williams ended his playing days as Real Salt Lake’s regular season career leader in games played (189), shots (232) and fouls suffered (269), while placing second in club annals in assists (29), games started (122), minutes played (11,536), shots on goal (83) and corner kicks (225). In addition, Williams appeared in all 12 of RSL’s MLS Cup Playoff appearances since 2008, including the 2009 MLS Cup Final against the LA Galaxy, when he gamely went the full 120 minutes in helping the Utah side register a 1-1 draw through regulation and overtime, an effort that eventually ended with RSL gaining the first professional sports title for a team from Utah in nearly 40 years. Williams was one of the first players to join Real Salt Lake after the Utah side claimed him from the Chicago Fire in the 2004 MLS Expansion Draft on Nov. 19, 2004, just two days after current Head Coach Jason Kreis became the squad’s first player signing.
“Andy Williams has been an integral member of Real Salt Lake since the club’s inception, an important player and a critical leader on and off the field, an integral part of the changing of the culture of our club and, most importantly, a terrific personal friend and family member of RSL,” said Kreis. “While it is always disheartening to see the playing career of someone you truly care about come to an end, I can honestly say that I am pleased it has come to an end wearing the RSL colors, and that he has chosen to stay with this club as we look to strengthen our squad and reload during a challenging offseason. There is no doubt that we at RSL have lost one of the all-time greats on the field today, but I truly feel we may have gained someone that can contribute in an even more significant fashion now off it.”
After becoming one of the most prolific scorers in NCAA history (52 goals & 45 assists) while at the University of Rhode Island, Williams began his MLS career in 1998 with the Columbus Crew, coming back from his stint with the Jamaican National Team at the FIFA World Cup in France to register 12 assists in only 13 appearances to end the regular season. Despite producing at every stop, Williams would bounce around to five different MLS sides in his first seven seasons in the league– Columbus (1998-99), Miami Fusion FC (2000), New England Revolution (2001-02), MetroStars (2002) and Chicago Fire (2003-2004) – before ending his nomadic days by landing with Real Salt Lake.
“We would like to thank Andy for all of his commitment and service on behalf of Real Salt Lake,” said RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey. “There is good reason why he is recognized as arguably the most memorable player in our franchise’s history, and we are honored that he has chosen to accept our invitation to stay on and join our Technical Staff. Leaving the playing field is never an easy decision, but Andy is a gifted person who will continue to help RSL off the field just as he led us on the field for the past seven years.”
Williams finished his MLS career amongst the league’s best in a number of regular season categories, with his final numbers including 332 appearances (6th all-time); 86 assists (8th), 680 fouls suffered (2nd); 231 starts (T-32nd); 21,698 minutes played (28th); 30 goals and 441 corner kicks (10th). In addition to his MLS Cup title with Real Salt Lake in 2009, Williams also claimed hardware with Chicago by helping the Fire win the 2003 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, one of his record-tying five LHUSOC Finals appearances in the tournament’s professional era (1998, 2000, 2001, 2003 & 2004). The veteran midfielder also played a vital role in helping RSL set new league benchmarks during the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League, scoring a goal and tallying a team-high seven assists in 11 appearances en route to the Utah side becoming the first MLS club to win its group and advance to the Semifinal and Final rounds of the regional club championship.
“It has been night and day since my first seasons in Utah. When we came into the league we were not winning a lot of games, but we always had our fans at Rice-Eccles; they came and supported us from the get-go,” continued Williams. “I’m happy we stuck in there and came away with a championship to reward both our efforts on the field and the fans’ efforts as well. You will always go through good times and bad, and I’m happy that I was able to end my career at Real Salt Lake, and with a championship ring.”
In addition to his standout league career, Williams was also a long-time contributor to the Jamaican Men’s National Team, scoring 15 goals in 93 appearances on behalf of the “Reggae Boyz” from 1998-2010. After making his senior international debut at the age of 20 during the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Williams was a regular for Jamaica in CONCACAF region World Cup Qualifying contests and the Reggae Boyz’ CONCACAF Gold Cup appearances in 2000, 2003 & 2005.