SANDY — The MLS trade deadline officially ended yesterday and Real Salt Lake made no trades. RSL's next opponent, Montreal Impact, made quite a few moves late in the day to make headlines. Here's what we know:
1. Rumors were circulating of RSL acquiring Bacary Sagna, a former Arsenal and Manchester City defender and French national team member, in exchange for Brooks Lennon through Atlanta United. Sagna was speaking with Atlanta United earlier this week, according to MLS Soccer. The rumor came to an end when Montreal Impact signed Sagna yesterday for the remainder of the 2018 season.
Let's get this thing going.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) August 8, 2018
Told by multiple sources that Atlanta United are looking to acquire an outside back to combat their ongoing injury woes at the position. They were interested in Brooks Lennon, but RSL didn't want to deal. Told that they are not pursuing Bacary Sagna.
2. Another rumor that was quickly squashed was the departure of RSL's Joao Plata. Plata will finish out the season with RSL tied as the team's top goal scorer along with Damir Kreilach with six goals. Plata has also logged four assists.
3. Montreal made two other important trades yesterday by acquiring Ugandan international midfielder Michael Azira from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, according to MLS Soccer. Finally, Montreal made a quick move to acquire forward Quincy Amarikwa from San Jose in exchange for Dominic Oduro.
4. Kyle Beckerman will continue to lead RSL's young squad to vie for a playoff spot. The veteran captain and MLS Cup champion who has been with RSL since 2007 has recorded impressive stats on the field this season at starting midfielder with an 89 percent pass-completion rate. Despite head coach Mike Petke's suggestions to give Beckerman some time off on the bench, Beckerman is set on leading the team to another playoff run after missing the cut off by just one point in 2017.
5. Petke is focused on developing young players despite the team's struggling away record. In an interview last week Petke said he has been looking around for good trade options that would benefit RSL, but nothing was concrete. RSL's roster now holds eight homegrown players — many of whom have received starts and playing time off the bench.
Real Salt Lake will take on the Montreal Impact on Saturday at 8 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium.