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Real Salt Lake MF Braian Ojeda Named To Paraguay National Team


HERRIMAN, Utah (Sunday, March 19, 2022) – Real Salt Lake MF Braian Ojeda – currently on loan from English Premier League side Nottingham Forest – has been named to Paraguay’s roster for the South American side’s upcoming trip to face Chile on Tuesday, March 27. Last August, the Paraguayan international became the first-ever RSL player to be added to its roster via Major League Soccer’s U-22 mechanism. 

Ojeda is the latest to be called in to his respective international side, joining fellow RSL teammates Jefferson Savarino (Venezuela), Rubio Rubin (Guatemala), Diego Luna (USA U-20) and Gavin Beavers (USA U-19) amongst those expected to miss next Saturday’s home kickoff against Western Conference leaders St. Louis CITY SC (4W-0L-0T, 12 pts.). The quintet is expected to return to MLS action in time for the Claret-and-Cobalt’s April 1 trip to Columbus.

During his time with RSL, Ojeda has started in seven of his 10 MLS regular-season and playoff appearances, part of a dual-pivot midfield that has seen him pair primarily with Pablo Ruiz, along with Jasper Löffelsend and Scott Caldwell to protect the back four and connect with the Claret-and-Cobalt attack. This season, Ojeda has appeared in 268 of RSL’s potential 270 minutes, starting each match in the early 1W-2L-0T start for Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni’s side.

Ojeda joined Nottingham Forest in August, 2021, at the outset of their EFL Championship campaign, appearing in three matches following a South American club career in his native Paraguay and a year-long loan in Argentina. Throughout Ojeda’s first European season, the athletic two-way midfielder made four international appearances for Paraguay, each full FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Ojeda has also made 16 appearances for La Albirroja youth international sides at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 (Olympic) levels.

As an 18-year-old, Ojeda made his professional debut with Paraguay’s oldest and most historically-dominant club, Olimpia, who he represented as a youth. Between December, 2018, and August, 2021, Ojeda made 40 appearances with Olimpia, while also spending time on loan in Argentina with first-division side Defensa y Justicia, appearing in 12 matches.

A year ago, Ojeda became the youngest international on Real Salt Lake’s roster, the Paraguayan one year younger than Ruiz. This season, Colombian FW Andrés Gómez surpassed that milestone. Ojeda arrived as the Claret-and-Cobalt’s second-ever Paraguayan international, joining 2016 FW Pedro Báez. In MLS, Ojeda becomes the ninth Paraguayan, all but one playing in for Western Conference sides. During the League’s first 27 years, Ojeda became the 20th Paraguayan to appear with his 21-minute substitute showing at LAFC last September 4.

Major League Soccer’s U-22 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,