SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, May 9, 2017) – On Tuesday, Real Salt Lake announced that it has acquired FW Jefferson Savarino on loan from Zulia in Venezuela, where Savarino has been one of the top up-and-coming attackers. Savarino, 20, will occupy a Young Designated Player spot on the roster and is expected to join the team in training Tuesday and will be active on the roster upon receipt of his International Transfer Certificate. (Pronunciation Note: YEFF-er-son)
“Jefferson adds a new dynamic to our roster and continues to challenge the depth of our squad,” RSL General Manager Craig Waibel said. “He is young and we will assimilate him into the team as quickly as possible, but his performance at Copa Libertadores shows that he is able to compete and deliver at a high level despite his age.”
Savarino has 22 goals and 12 assists in 48 matches in the Venezuelan Primera Division and has also added one goal in four matches in this year’s Copa Libertadores, featuring the top teams from around South America. He was promoted from Zulia’s U-20 team to the first team in January of 2015, at age 18.
With his addition, RSL now has 12 players on the roster aged 23 years old or younger.
“Jefferson is someone we’ve been tracking from our scouting department to the first team staff and we’ve done a great deal of research on him. He has a lot of talent and a lot of upside,” RSL Head Coach Mike Petke said. “We’re excited to have him come in here and help the team win games, but also to have him along with the other wide players to push each other and help each other. There will be an adjustment period, as usually happens with players from different countries, but we’re looking at the long-term prospect of a young kid who is doing very well right now and we hope and expect him to make the next step.”
With Savarino’s addition as a Designated Player, Real Salt Lake has used Targeted Allocation Money on the contract of FW Joao Plata. Savarino and Waibel will be available to media following Real Salt Lake’s training session Tuesday at America First Field in Sandy, UT. Training is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. MT and conclude at approximately 12:15 p.m. MT.
TRANSACTION: Real Salt Lake (MLS) signs FW Jefferson Savarino as a Young Designated Player