Andrés Gómez joins Real Salt Lake as an U22 Initiative Signing as well as joining as the Club-record transfer fee.
Gómez’s signing will be RSL’s second ever U22 Initiative signing after the Club signed Braian Ojeda on loan from Premier League side Nottingham Forest last summer.
RSL General Manager, Elliot Fall, has high praise for the newest member of the Claret-and-Cobalt who while going through the scouting processes, quickly jumped to the top of his list.
“We went into the offseason with a stated goal of improving our attacking output and, our ability to be dangerous, on the wings very early in the process,” Fall said.
“We had seen him last year in some of our scouting processes and we had scouts that saw him live a couple times over the off season and were impressed by him. When the time came to identify top targets he quickly rose to the top of the list. He was our number one target in the off season, because of both his recent experience at a first team level in Colombia, his production there and how that generally translates to our league, his athletic profile as well as his age.”
As the 2023 iteration of the Club starts to take shape, Fall is excited by what Gómez can bring to the table from an attacking standpoint.
“He's a wide player who has more experience playing on the right so I would expect that he'll slot in on the right wing and compete for minutes and starts right away,” Fall said.
“We feel like with Jefferson Savarino, Gómez, and then of course Meram, Chang and our MLS Super Draft pick Bertin Jacquessionm, we have a lot of really good options on the wing. Guys that can be dynamic in multiple different ways, and impact the game by both creating chances and getting on the end of chances.”
Gómez will join up with the rest of his RSL teammates during the Club’s preseason preparations as the team ramps up for the 2023 Major League Soccer season.
Here is everything you need to know about Gómez’s career prior to joining RSL::
- Gómez, 20, was born in Quibdo, Colombia, on Sept. 12, 2002.
- The young winger recorded 12 goals and six assists in 59 professional appearances during his time at Millonarios FC in Colombia. Millonarios is known for being one of the biggest teams in the country. Located in the capital city of Bogotá, the Club has won 15 Colombian league titles.
- Gómez was instrumental in helping Millonarios win their third ever Copa Colombia in 2022. The winger scored twice in the quarter-finals, once in the first leg and again in the second, and again in the semi-finals first leg.
- The Colombian has only been at Millonarios for two years but quickly established himself as one of South America’s top young talents. Originally thought of as a left-back when joining the Club, Gómez was then quickly moved to an attacking role where he excelled.
- In Football Observatory’s January 2023 Monthly Report on U21 soccer talents across the world, the site listed Gómez as the number one U21 shot-oriented winger due to his influential shooting and take on ability. The young Colombian was rated ahead of promising European talents such as Borussia Dortmund’s Karim Adeyemi and Leeds United’s Wilfred Gnoto.
- Due to his previous experience as a left-back, Gómez is also seen as an excellent two way player who can affect the game through both attacking and pressing output.
- Gómez joins Paraguayan Braian Ojeda as the Club’s two U22 Initiative players. Major League Soccer’s U22 Initiative is designed to allow MLS clubs to add players age 22 and younger to rosters, often with lucrative contracts at a reduced budget charge, decreasing the risk associated with acquiring or retaining players still approaching their prime.
- Gómez is the fourth all-time Colombian to sign with Real Salt Lake, the list includes current Real Monarchs head coach and Club legend Jamison Olave, Olmes Garcia and Sebastian Velazquez.
- At the league level Gómez is the 113th all-time Colombian player to join an MLS club. He is now the 29th active Colombian in Major League Soccer. The other 28 current Colombians have combined for 331 goals during their MLS careers.
- At 20 years old Gómez becomes the youngest international on RSL’s roster, surpassing fellow U22 Initiative midfielder Braian Ojeda by nearly two years.
- With his signing Gómez becomes the third active MLS player to hail from Millonarios FC as Cristian Arango of LAFC and Emerson Rodriquez of Inter Miami both honed their craft at the Colombian club before making their way stateside. Arango, the 2021 MLS Newcomer of the Year has recorded 30 goals and seven assists in two years with LAFC. Meanwhile Rodriguez appeared in 22 matches for Miami during his first year in MLS.
- Overall, Gómez is the seventh all-time player to arrive in Major League Soccer by way of Millonarios FC.
- Gómez’s contract will keep him on the Wasatch Front until 2027 with a player option for 2028.