Real Salt Lake announced Thursday that they have extended the loan agreement for Brazilian forward Paulo Jr.
The striker arrived on loan late last season from USSF D-2 side Miami FC and made an immediate impact, scoring three goals in two Champions League matches – including a brace against Cruz Azul – to help RSL clinch their group.
“We are happy to have been able to work with Traffic [Miami FC ownership group] to extend the loan for this talented young player,” said RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey. “We expect that, after a full preseason with the team, Paulo will be able to grow and develop, and we hope he is able to take a big step forward in helping RSL as we try to win the CONCACAF Champions League and MLS Cup in 2011.”
According to terms of the deal, the loan will extend through next season and includes a buyout agreement that could keep the youngster in Salt Lake through 2014.
RSL entered the offseason with the potential of losing three of the five forwards on their roster. Robbie Findley – selected by Portland in the Expansion Draft but freshly signed to English Championship side Nottingham Forest – is gone, but the team was able to purchase the services of influential newcomer Alvaro Saborio.
The extension of the loan for Paulo Jr. gives RSL plenty of returning firepower as they face a couple of early Champions League matches against the Columbus Crew in 2011.
Paulo Jr. made his way through the youth ranks in Brazilian clubs Flamengo du Piaui and Ituano before making his professional debut with the latter. He then made his way to Miami FC in 2009 and had a productive 2010 season with the club, which helped him earn a spot in the USSF D-2’s Best XI.