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Real Salt Lake Signs First-Round 2024 Draft Pick Matthew Bell


HERRIMAN, Utah (Mon., February 19, 2024) – Real Salt Lake today announced the signing of first-round 2024 MLS SuperDraft pick M/F Matthew Bell, selected 16th overall from Marshall University. Bell and fellow first-rounder DF Kevin Bonilla (Univ. of Portland) were MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalists last year, receiving distinction in college soccer’s Heisman Trophy equivalents. Bell is signed with a series of Club options through the 2027 Major League Soccer season.

Bell, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, completed his sophomore season at Marshall University last year, earning SunBelt Conference Player of the Year and SBC Offensive Player of the Year honors, with Hermann Trophy watch list accolades while powering the Thundering Herd to with a single-season program record of 10 goals / 12 assists, just the second player in program history to register multiple 10-goal campaigns.

“I think the style of play that RSL plays is how I would love to play – I'm so excited to continue down this path,” said Bell, the latest in a long line of Jamaican internationals to call Utah home. “I can't wait to get started and hopefully we'll build an everlasting relationship. And I hope to be at the Club for many, many years and hopefully I can win some championships.”

“I’ve enjoyed the preseason so far and I look forward to learning and growing each and every day, trying to fit the style of play and show the coaches how to best use me. I think that’s what I want for my career as well. I'm excited to see what it brings and I'm just really excited. I don't even know what to say because it's such a big moment for me in my life. It's just really exciting at the moment and I'm just so so eager to play.

“I think I'm the type of player who can come in and impact right away, but I also know that if the coaching staff feels I need to be in the second team, I'm open to that too. I'm open to learning and growing as a player because this is just the start of my career. I'm also very ambitious, and I'm very goal oriented, and I think I could potentially impact the first team, and hopefully get a lot of minutes this year, and just grow as a player and help the Club to win trophies.”

Real Salt Lake kicks off the Club’s 20th MLS season this Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, when Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni leads his team to South Florida, where RSL faces Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium. Kickoff is at 6:00 p.m. MT, with the game broadcast worldwide via Apple TV+ / MLS Season Pass, as RSL looks to extend its MLS Opening Day unbeaten run to 15 games, last losing its first match in 2009 – incidentally, the year RSL won MLS Cup.