SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake has announced that it has signed 17-year-old RSL-Arizona Academy product Sebastian Saucedo as its eighth-ever Homegrown Player. Saucedo, the first Utah native to join the Claret-and-Cobalt, comes to the first team after spending three years at the RSL-Arizona Academy residency program. Per league and club policy, further terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
The dynamic midfielder/forward joined the RSL-Arizona Academy in 2011 after playing for local Utah youth club La Roca. He was a major player on the RSL-AZ U-16 team that won the 2012-13 U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy National Championship and was essential in leading the U-16’s to its second straight appearance in the USSDA U-16 final, before falling 2-0 to LA Galaxy in the 2013-14 Championship match. Saucedo was named to the USSDA West Conference “Starting XI” and named the U-16 West Conference Player of the Year in 2014.
The Utah native also played a paramount role in leading the RSL-AZ U-16’s to the 2013-14 Generation adidas Cup final, which saw the Claret-and-Cobalt suffer a heartbreaking penalty kick shootout loss to English side Stoke City. Saucedo was awarded the Generation adidas Cup Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player and the Golden Boot as its leading scorer. The 17-year-old finished his two full seasons at the RSL-AZ Academy with a total of 50 goals scored for the Claret-and-Cobalt.
“I’ve dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player my entire life and the opportunity to do that with Real Salt Lake is a dream come true,” Saucedo said. “After moving to Utah as a young kid and attending RSL games at Rice-Eccles Stadium, and then joining the RSL Academy, I can’t wait to jumpstart my professional career in my home state. The chance to play at Rio Tinto Stadium – one of the best soccer stadiums in the league – and the prospect of learning alongside some of the best players and coaches in MLS, especially those with World Cup experience, is just a dream come true.”
Saucedo also has experience as a U.S. Youth International. He has become a United States Under-18 Men’s National Team regular, most recently joining the U-18’s for an international tournament in Lisbon, Portugal this past June.
Saucedo has two appearances with the Real Salt Lake Reserves this year, playing the final 19 minutes in RSL’s 1-1 draw with Chivas USA Reserves on April 29, and starting and playing the full 90 in the Claret-and-Cobalt’s 0-0 draw with Seattle Sounders FC Reserves on May 26.
Real Salt Lake has previously signed seven other players to Homegrown Player contracts including former RSL players DF Donny Toia and MF Nico Muñiz, and current squad members GK Lalo Fernandez, DF Carlos Salcedo, FW Benji Lopez, MF Jordan Allen and DF Justen Glad.
Name: Sebastian Saucedo
Height: 5’ 7’’
Weight: 145 lbs.
Birthdate: January 22, 1997
Birthplace: San Fernando Valley, California
Hometown: Park City, Utah
Previous club: RSL-Arizona U-16 Academy Team 2011-2014
Acquired: Signed to a Homegrown Player contract on July 24, 2014