SANDY, Utah (Thursday, November 19, 2015) – Real Salt Lake General Manager Craig Waibel announced Thursday that the club has re-signed MF Javier Morales, keeping RSL’s all-time assist leader in the Claret-and-Cobalt on a multi-year contract extension. Per league and club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
“Every organization clamors and talks about identity. Keeping guys like Javier here who understand what this club has been through is important to that identity because for 10 years Javi has helped establish this club and build a stadium and build a fanbase and identify with that fanbase,” Waibel said. “He really encompasses everything we are.”
Morales, who turns 36 on Jan. 10, first signed with RSL on Aug. 17, 2007. He finished the 2015 season with team-leading totals with eight goals and 12 assists. In the last three seasons, he has 25 goals and 34 assists while playing in 84 of the club’s 102 matches in that stretch to bolster his career totals, seeing a resurgence since a successful comeback from a career-threatening injury in 2011, with no player in the league garnering more goals and more assists than him in the last three seasons. He was voted Real Salt Lake’s Most Valuable Player in 2015, giving him the honor for the third time in his nine seasons with the team.
“I want to finish my career here with Real Salt Lake,” Morales said. “Real Salt Lake is the most important team in my life. It’s the team that didn’t just make me a better player. The club made me a better person. I came here and it was magic. Everything changed and everything was good for me and my family.”
Morales ranks 12th among the MLS all-time leaders with 77 assists. He is first all-time for RSL in assists, second in goals (45) and third in appearances (211), trailing just Alvaro Saborio in goals and Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman in appearances.
He came to Real Salt Lake in 2007 after stints with Lanus, Arsenal de Sarandi, Newell’s Old Boys and Instituto in Argentina and UD Vecindario in Spain, spanning 1998-2007.
Since arriving in MLS, he has been an All-Star in 2009, 2010 and 2013. He helped lead Real Salt Lake to the MLS Cup title in 2009 and reached the CONCACAF Champions League final in 2011, the MLS Cup final in 2013 and the U.S. Open Cup final in 2013.
“I know Javi is hungrier than ever to get back on the field and make 2016 a year that we can be really proud of and I’m excited to have him back,” RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar said.
Morales is one of just nine players in MLS history to play for just one club in their career and play over 200 matches for that club, joining Cobi Jones (306, LA Galaxy), CJ Brown (296, Chicago Fire), Logan Pause (286, Chicago Fire), Gonzalo Segares (231, Chicago Fire), Ben Olsen (221, D.C. United), Mike Clark (221, Columbus Crew), Bobby Rhine (212, Dallas Burn/FC Dallas) and Mauricio Cienfuegos (206, LA Galaxy).
Real Salt Lake opens the 2016 season with the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Tigres in Mexico in the last week of February, with the return leg coming in the first week of March at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Player: Javier Morales
Weight: 143 lbs.
Date of Birth: January 10, 1980
Birthplace: Lomas de Zamora, Argentina
How Acquired: Re-signed on November 19, 2015