Real Salt Lake exec Andy Carroll takes leave as more details of MLS club’s ‘toxic’ culture emerge

Soon-to-be former Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen isn’t the only high-ranking official stepping away from the MLS club after being accused of inappropriate behavior.

On Tuesday, Andy Carroll, the teams’s chief business officer, announced that he is taking a leave of absence from Utah Soccer Holdings, the company that operates Real Salt Lake, the Utah Royals of the National Women’s Soccer League and Real Monarchs of second-tier USL.

The news comes after the website RSL Soapbox published a report claiming that Carroll oversaw a “toxic” atmosphere within the organization. The story describes one incident during which former sideline reporter Rebecca Cade claimed that Carroll and other male employees discussed her physical appearance during a staff meeting. “I know for sure they were talking about my boobs,” Cade is quoted as saying.

Multiple reports of a toxic culture at MLS club Real Salt Lake have emerged in recent days.(George Frey/Getty Images)

MLS and the NWSL launched investigations into Carroll in response to the story, which came on the heels of an explosive account last week in the Athletic regarding Hansen’s open use of racist language around team staff members and others. Former RSL head scout Andy Williams said Hansen used the N-word in front of him on more than one occasion, and that Hansen once joked about wanting to “lynch” Colorado Rapids midfielder Kellyn Acosta after Acosta had scored a game-winning goal against his team.

Subsequent reports by the Salt Lake Tribune and the city’s local Fox affiliate described other instances of racist language being used in public by Hansen. Like Carroll, Hansen initially said he would take a leave of absence from the team while investigations by MLS and the NWSL were conducted.

On Sunday, both leagues announced that the billionaire real estate magnate Hansen had informed them that he would sell all three clubs, 20,000-seat Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, the Real Salt Lake academy, the high school academy players attend, and the RSL charitable foundation and its training facility.

NFL star J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans has expressed his interest in buying, as has veteran U.S. men’s national team forward Jozy Altidore, who plays for Toronto FC. Watt is married to NWSL player Kealia Watt, a Salt Lake City-area native and winger with the Chicago Red Stars.

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