HERRIMAN, Utah (Thursday, August 18, 2022) – Real Monarchs announce the signing of former Real Salt Lake Academy goalkeeper Fernando Delgado to an MLS NEXT Pro professional contract, pending league approval.
“Our Club staff would like to congratulate Fernando as he signs his first professional contract with the Real Monarchs,” said Real Salt Lake Assistant General Manager Tony Beltran. “Fernando has continually proven that he has talent in abundance. As he takes this step forward within the Real Salt Lake player pathway, we as a Club look forward to the shared work ahead as he continues to develop as a footballer and a young man.”
Delgado, 16, is the most recent RSL Academy product to sign a professional contract with Real Monarchs, joining Bobby Pierre, Yekeson Subah, Christian Nydegger and Terron Williams, each signed earlier this spring. Real Salt Lake has seen many of its young goalkeepers rise through the ranks from RSL Academy to Real Monarchs, with three of his predecessors later signing MLS Homegrown Contracts with RSL (Gavin Beavers, David Ochoa and Jeff Dewsnup).
“I’m more than excited to continue my path with this Club,” said Fernando Delgado, a native of suburban Phoenix and a three-year veteran of the Academy. “I am thankful to everyone who provides me both the on-field instruction and the off-field guidance to grow not only as a player, but as a person.”
Delgado made headlines last season, becoming the youngest goalkeeper to make his professional debut at 15 years, 2 months and 22 days on October 16, 2021, when he started for the Monarchs between the posts in a 4-3 win over former USL Championship side Austin Bold. The young netminder was also a key player in the RSL Academy U-15 side’s first-ever MLS NEXT Cup championship in 2021, earning the clean sheet in a 2-0 victory in the final over Philadelphia Union.
Delgado holds dual USA / Mexico citizenship and has represented both the United States and Mexican youth national teams across various competitions. Most recently, the young goalkeeper represented El Tri in the U-16 International Dream Cup in Japan, finishing second in the tournament. The Phoenix, Ariz., native can represent both countries until he reaches the Senior ranks, as mandated by FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.
Real Monarchs are currently competing in the newly formed MLS NEXT Pro, with its next match being Sunday, August 21 at 7:00 p.m. in Minnesota, and next home match set for Friday, August 26 at 7:00 p.m. MT at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah against Tacoma Defiance. The Club’s move to MLS NEXT Pro comes after seven seasons in the USL Championship, during which the team won the 2019 USL Championship Cup, the 2017 USL Regular Season Shield and the Western Conference Title in both 2017 and 2019, while also qualifying for the postseason in 2018.
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TRANSACTION: Real Monarchs sign goalkeeper Fernando Delgado to an MLS NEXT Pro professional contract on Thursday, August 18, 2022.
Name: Fernando Delgado
Date of Birth: July 25, 2006
Birthplace: Phoenix, Arizona
Hometown: Glendale, Arizona
Citizenship: United States
Last Club: Real Salt Lake Academy
How Acquired: Signed on August 18, 2022
Real Monarchs current roster as of 08/18/22
Goalkeepers: Fernando Delgado
Defenders: Bobby Pierre, Pierre Reedy, Golden Mafwenta, Aziz Kayondo, Omar Alba
Midfielders: Jack Imperato, Leo Torres, Pedro Fonseca, Tyrone Mondi, Christian Nydegger
Forwards: Terron Williams, Yekeson Subah