RSL: Signed via loan from Miami FC on 9/09/10; Loan deal extended for 2011 season on 12/27/10, which includes option to purchase contract rights through 2014 at end of the agreement; Purchased rights from Ft. Lauderdale Strikers on 2/09/12 and signed to a new three-year contract
As explosive as the fall 2010 debut of Paulo Junior. onto the Real Salt Lake scene was, it appeared that the Brazilian’s 2011 was equally as disappointing … but one look at the limited sample size of stats might just prove otherwise. While the swashbuckling striker missed exactly half of the season due to lingering hamstring and hip flexor injuries over the summer, when he was on the field he was able to produce, notching a pair of goals and five assists in what amounted to just under 600 minutes across MLS and CONCACAF play.
The diminutive forward’s season got off to a sparkling start, as he recorded a goal, an assist or both during his first four overall appearances. However, the injury bug would strike soon afterwards, derailing a promising start and limiting him to substitute and spot-start duty across the last three months of the season. Despite the health concerns, Real Salt Lake recognized Paulo Junior’s potential this past offseason and acquired the 23-year-old’s player rights from the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers in February. The Utah side hopes a new three-year contract will provide the stability and confidence the still-developing striker needs in order to perform, which would result in a dangerous complement to first-choice forwards Fabian Espíndola and Álvaro Saborío.
2011: Tallied a pair of goals and four assists across 11 appearances (6 starts, 563 mins.) in limited action during the regular season … Also added an assist in 24 minutes spread across two substitute appearances in CONCACAF Champions League play during the squad’s run through the Championship Stage … Also started six of seven contests in MLS Reserve League play, totaling 429 minutes … Provided an assist on RSL’s third goal (Morales, 77’) on 3/01 v. CLB in Leg 2 of the CCL Quarterfinals during a 19 min. appearance off the bench in the squad’s series-clinching 4-1 triumph … Helped bookend RSL’s scoring on 3/26 v. LA, assisting on Williams’ 2nd minute opener before scoring one of his own in the 68th minute of the dominant performance in Sandy … Helped secure a three-point road result on 4/09 @ NE, his 47’ breakaway tally counting as the insurance goal in a thorough 2-0 triumph … Again proved vital to victory just four days later on 4/13 v. COL, his 21-minute stint including an assist on Espindola’s stoppage-time score that lifted RSL to a 1-0 win in the Rocky Mountain Cup series … 5-minute cameo in Leg Two of the CCL Finals on 4/27 v. Monterrey would prove to be his last first-team action for four months … L hamstring and R hip flexor strains would force the Brazilian from the field for four month, his return coming on 8/13 @ TOR via a 9-minute run off the bench … Added assists on 9/03 v. PHI (Beckerman, 18’) in a 2-1 win and on 9/24 @ DC (Saborio, 86’) in a 1-4 defeat … Listed on 18-man roster in each of RSL’s three postseason contests but did not see the field.
2010: Appeared in six games across all competitions for Real Salt Lake after joining the club on loan on 9/09, scoring three goals in 176 minutes of play … Scored three goals in just 65 minutes across two games in CONCACAF Champions League play … Made an immediate impact in his RSL debut on 9/15 v. TOR, entering the CCL contest in the 74th minute and opening his scoring account just 6 minutes later, capping the scoring in RSL’s vital 4-1 victory … Made his MLS debut three days later on 9/18 v. CHI, logging another 16 minutes in RSL’s 1-0 win that broke the record for the longest MLS home undefeated streak at 23 games … After missing a handful of games due to a left hamstring strain, returned to the field on 10/9 @ NY via a 22-minute stint of the bench in a scoreless draw at Red Bull Arena … Scored RSL’s first two goals on 10/19 v. Cruz Azul (43’, 67’) in the CCL Group A finale for both sides, pacing the Utahans to a 3-1 win that allowed RSL to become the first MLS team in nine tries to win a Group Stage … Played final 29 minutes on 10/22 @ COL in the regular season finale, a 2-2 draw that allowed RSL to maintain the Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry trophy for a fourth consecutive season … Made his postseason debut in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinal Series on 10/06 v. DAL, playing the last 17 minutes off the bench in the 1-1 draw that ended RSL’s 2010 campaign … Saw loan deal extended for 2011 MLS season on 12/27, with Utah side holding option to purchase contract rights through 2014 at the end of the campaign.
Domestic/International Professional Career
2010: Miami FC (USSF D-2 Pro League): Started 18 of his 22 matches with Miami FC in League play, registering a team-high 8 goals and adding 4 assists across 1,675 minutes of action, numbers that led to him being named to the USSF D-2 Pro League’s Best XI team for 2010 … At the time of his departure, ranked in USSF D-2’s top five with 20 points (3rd), 8 goals (T-4th), and 50 shots (5th) … Also scored five times in three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup contests, ranking at the top of the competition’s scoring chart (alongside Seattle’s Nate Jaqua) … Four of those goals came during a 10-minute span in added extra time in Miami FC’s First Round 5-1 win over the Central Florida Kraze (PDL) on 6/15 … Also tallied the Blues’ opener (2’) a week later in the squad’s 2-1 (AET) victory over fellow D-2 USSF side Tampa Bay … Started and went the full 90 minutes on 6/29 at Houston Dynamo in a 0-1 Third Round defeat … Re-signed with Miami on 3/15 for its 2010 season.
2009: Miami FC (USL First Division): Notched three goals and three assists across 18 appearances in his first season with Miami … Made his Blues debut on 5/20 v. Charleston Battery … Scored his first USL goal a month later on 6/20 vs. Cleveland City Stars.
2008: Ituano FC (Campeonato Brasileiro Série C): Began his professional career in 2008 with Ituano FC of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série C before signing with Miami FC in 2009.
Full name is Paulo Morais de Araujo Junior
REGULAR SEASON GAME HIGHS
Goals 1 – 2 times, last: Apr. 9, 2011, RSL @ NE
Assists 1 – 4 times, last: Sept. 24, 2011, RSL @ DC
Shots on Goal 2 – 2 times, last: Apr. 9, 2011, RSL @ NE
Shots 4 – Mar. 26, 2011, RSL v. LA
Fouls Committed 2 – 2 times, last: Apr. 9, 2011, RSL @ NE
Fouls Suffered 1 – 6 times, last: Oct. 1, 2011, RSL @ LA