SANDY — Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman didn’t come out and say that Dell Loy Hansen was a bad owner, but read between the lines and that’s exactly what he meant during a Zoom call with the reporters Monday.

“It’s pretty known around the league who’s got owners who want to win and who has owners who don’t. I think that’s something we’re pretty excited about, is getting an owner in here who wants to win, and it isn’t just about money,” said Beckerman. “The future is extremely bright for this club, we’ve got all the infrastructure in place, and now to get an owner who truly wants to win would be something real positive for this club going forward.”

“It’s pretty known around the league who’s got owners who want to win and who has owners who don’t. I think that’s something we’re pretty excited about, is getting an owner in here who wants to win, and it isn’t just about money.” — RSL’s Kyle Beckerman

Hansen announced Sunday his intentions to sell the team after the events of last week and reports of alleged racial comments in the past, and it sounds like RSL’s players are excited for the change.

“The difference between winning and losing is very slim, and when you’re going against teams (and) their owner is doing all the little things to help them win, and then you come to game time and it’s a game of inches or a little thing here or there, all those little things that your owner can do to help out, it definitely pushes you and helps you win games,” said Beckerman.

He believes improved commitment from a new owner in all facets can have a big impact moving forward.

“I think a new owner can bring a lot of energy and a lot of positive stuff to this club we’re all looking forward to,” said Beckerman.

RSL’s payroll of base salaries in 2019 was $10.4 million according to the MLS Players Union, which ranked 13th out of 24 teams in MLS.

Dell Loy Hansen to sell Real Salt Lake, Utah Royals FC, Real Monarchs
Dell Loy Hansen is now taking a leave of absence. Here’s how things snowballed so quickly for RSL’s owner
MLS will investigate RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen after allegations of racist language arise in report

Beckerman acknowledges that part of Hansen’s reluctance to spend more money on player salaries has a lot to do with the timing of his ownership. He became minority owner back in 2009, a month before RSL won its lone championship.

Then, in 2013, when he became sole owner of the team, RSL advanced to the MLS Cup before losing to Sporting Kansas City in penalty kicks.

“It’s probably hard for him not to think this is easy. It’s like all right, ‘I can win,’ when he didn’t really know what that meant and how much hard work it takes to win,” said Beckerman. “When you get that so early in his time here, I think that search to go do whatever you need for the players and the club to win goes out the window, and it becomes about how can I save money, how can I make money, when ultimately I think it all goes hand in hand. If you win you you’re going to make money. When that’s not the focus, it really puts a strain on the team.”

Beckerman said those type of situations are the things players have had to deal with for the past seven years, but because of the work ethic and commitment from the players they’ve avoided hitting rock bottom and kept improving over the past three and four years.

Hansen built his fortune through real estate, and many fans grew frustrated through the years that it seemed he was more interested in upgrading the facilities of Rio Tinto Stadium than upgrading the roster with bigger signings.

Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen talks to the media about front office staff changes during a press conference at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Despite everything that’s gone on the past week with the team, Beckerman said the energy around the team is great after the 4-4 come-from-behind draw against Portland last week and heading into this Wednesday’s home match against Seattle.

“I just want to get back to playing soccer and getting this community feeling good about Real Salt Lake again,” said Beckerman.

Real Salt Lake strikes late — twice — to rally for improbable 4-4 draw at Portland

Hansen issued a written apology to the coaches and players on Sunday in addition to his general statement to the public.

RSL coach Freddy Juarez said he accepts the apology, and hopes Hansen means it.

“Who am I to judge? Dell Loy has been good to me. I’m not here to judge him, I hope he means it. … I can’t tell you if he does or doesn’t, but I hope he does. It would be nice if at some point he individually talks to the players, but I don’t know legal things and how they choose to advise you on doing that stuff,” said Juarez.

Asked the qualities he would hope for in a new owner, Juarez said passionate and supportive.

He acknowledges that being a small-market franchise, a big part of RSL’s identity regardless of the ownership change will likely still be building the team through the RSL Academy and not going out and spending recklessly.

“I know that’s part of our identity, so I’m not saying the next owner has to come in and buy 20 players,” said Juarez.

At the same time, when opportunities arise he hopes spending can bridge that gap. Juarez said holes in the roster will inevitably emerge, and sometimes the academy doesn’t have someone ready to fill that gap. Those are times when he hopes new ownership will be willing to invest in those positions.

He hopes more money can be invested in the technical staff and other areas to keep up with where the soccer world is going.

“We come everyday to play because we love the game, I love to coach the game, but we also come because we can’t wait to play in front of the fans, and the fans deserve the best that we can give them to be honest,” said Juarez.