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The Soapbox on Abdoulie Mansally

We talked to Matt Montgomery of RSL Soapbox about Houston's newest defender.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Montgomery, the managing editor of RSL Soapbox, was all over the trade between Real Salt Lake and the Houston Dynamo. If you missed it, Houston traded a MLS SuperDraft pick to Real Salt Lake for defender Abdoulie Mansally.

So, what's the inside scoop on Mansally? Here's what Matt had to say.

Abdoulie Mansally is a 27-year-old left back, so he's conceivably nearing the prime of his career. But in spite of that, he's remained Real Salt Lake's backup at the position for three-and-a-half years, making this an ideal time for him to move on — it could present a strong opportunity for him to stake a claim for a starting position elsewhere.

Mansally is probably best known in Salt Lake City for a propensity for less-than-savory tackles, and along the way, he earned a reputation for red cards. As is often the case, reputations of such a sort are earned without due merit — his tackling has earned only two red cards in that time, and a total of only three in his nine years in MLS.

Still, Mansally's tackling often left much to be desired, and it would sometimes see him caught in dangerous positions. With RSL's defense a bit of a shambles last year, that sometimes didn't work out particularly well. Despite that uncertainty, Mansally turned into a capable left back for the team in 2015, with first-choice Demar Phillips absent for around half the season through injury and international call-ups. His tackling over his RSL career improved substantially, and he was generally less of a liability year-over-year.

Mansally's career pre-Real Salt Lake saw him playing more as a left-sided winger, starting with New England Revolution, and he did play that role occasionally for Real Salt Lake. But when he arrived in 2012, he was playing under Jason Kreis, whose penchant for wingers was non-existent in the famed diamond midfield. He already had left back experience internationally playing for The Gambia, and that became his position at Real Salt Lake. What's next for him likely depends on the system in which he plays, but he's certainly capable of playing in a utility role.