REAL SALT LAKE EXTENDS LOAN DEAL FOR FORWARD PAULO JR.
Deal Keeps Exciting Brazilian Attacker in RSL Uniform for 2011, with Option to Extend Contract through 2014
SANDY, Utah (Monday, December 27, 2010) -- Real Salt Lake General Manager Garth Lagerwey announced today that the club has extended the loan deal for forward Paulo Jr. from Miami FC of the USSF D-2 Pro League through the end of the 2011 season. As part of the deal, Real Salt Lake will also have the option to purchase the rights for the exciting Brazilian attacker through 2014 at the end of the year-long loan extension. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
The 21-year-old Paulo Jr. – whose full name is Paulo Morais de Araujo Junior – will continue to occupy the fifth of Real Salt Lake’s six International Player roster slots available to the club for the 2011 season, joining Argentineans Fabian Espíndola, Nelson Gonzalez, and Javier Morales and Costa Rican Álvaro Saborío on the current list.
“We are happy to have been able to work with Alejandro Taraciuk and Traffic Sports USA to extend the loan for this talented young player,” said 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.”
Noticing his four assists and team-high eight goals in 22 appearances for Miami FC through the majority of its 2010 campaign, Real Salt Lake acquired Paulo Jr. on Sept. 9 via a loan deal for the 2010 stretch run. The short-term move paid off well for the Utah side, as the exciting young attacker managed to score three times in two appearances in CONCACAF Champions League play, with two of those tallies sparking RSL to a 3-1 win over Mexican powerhouse Cruz Azul on Oct. 19 that clinched the top spot in Group A for the MLS side. Despite not completing the USSF D-2 Pro League campaign with Miami, the Brazilian impressed enough through the first five months of the season to earn a spot on the league’s Best XI Team.
Before coming to the United States, Paulo Jr. began his budding career in the youth systems of Brazilian clubs Flamengo do Piaui and Ituano. He debuted professionally with Ituano in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie C (third division) before signing with Miami FC in early 2009.
Today’s transaction continues a fruitful offseason for the Real Salt Lake front office, which has reinforced its dangerous attacking corps through the re-signings of Paulo Jr. and Saborío – the 2010 MLS Newcomer of the Year – and a trade with the Portland Timbers that brought veteran MLS attacker and El Salvadoran international Arturo Alvarez to the Wasatch Front. Securing the services of these players early in the offseason will prove vital for the continuity of Real Salt Lake, which will begin its preseason in less than a month’s time and return to the field of competition on February 22 in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal Round series against its fellow MLS survivor to this point, the Columbus Crew. The return leg is set for Tuesday, March 1, at Rio Tinto Stadium, with kickoff set for 8:00 p.m. MT.
TRANSACTION: Real Salt Lake extends loan deal for forward Paulo Jr. with USSF D-2 Pro League’s Miami FC through the 2011 season.
#23 Paulo Jr.
Height: 5’ 7’’ Weight: 158 lbs.
Born: January 23, 1989 in Teresina, Brazil
Hometown: Teresina, Brazil
MLS Experience: One Season (2010-current)
Last Club: Miami FC (USSF D-2 Pro League) (2009-10)
2010: Real Salt Lake (Major League Soccer): Appeared in six games across all competitions after joining the club on loan on Sept. 9, appearing in 3 MLS contests off the bench (0G/0A in 95 min.), scoring 3 goals in just 65 minutes across 2 games in CONCACAF Champions League play, and making his MLS Cup Playoff debut via a substitute appearance … Made an immediate impact in his RSL debut on Sept. 15 v. Toronto FC, 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 Sept. 18 v. Chicago, 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 left hamstring strain, returned to the field on Oct. 9 @ New York 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 9 tries to win a Group Stage … Played final 29 minutes on Oct. 22 @ Colorado 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 on Nov. 6 v. FC Dallas, playing the last 17 minutes off the bench in the 1-1 second leg draw that ended RSL’s 2010 campaign.
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 June 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 June 29 at Houston Dynamo in a 0-1 Third Round defeat … Re-signed with Miami on March 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 May 20 v. Charleston Battery, and scored his first USL goal a month later on June 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.
Born Paulo Morais de Araujo (ah-RAH-ho) Junior in Teresina, Brazil