HERRIMAN, Utah (Friday, April 2, 2021) - Real Salt Lake has signed forward Bobby Wood contract beginning July 1 through 2023 that will bring the U.S. National Team veteran and longtime Bundesliga goal-scorer to Major League Soccer for the first time in his career. He will join Real Salt Lake upon expiration of his contract with Hamburg in Germany’s 2. Bundesliga.
“It was really important for me to get into a club that felt like a family and that’s why it feels so good to come into Real Salt Lake. In talking with the coaches, that was the vibe I got and made it an easy decision,” Wood said. “I’m excited for this new chapter and challenge and I want to make it as successful as possible.”
Wood, 28, started his professional career with 1860 Munich in 2010, debuting in the 2. Bundesliga at 18 years old. He would go on to score 12 goals in 46 appearances with 1860 Munich II and three goals in 50 appearances with the first team in Germany’s second division. After a brief stint with Erzgebirge Aue in 2015, he made the move to Union Berlin for the 2015-16 season and exploded for his best season as a professional. Teaming with current RSL midfielder Damir Kreilach, Wood notched 17 goals in 31 matches, adding three assists on the season. During that season, Kreilach had 12 goals and five assists for his most productive season as a professional.
That breakout season triggered a move to the top flight in Germany’s Bundesliga with Hamburg. In two seasons in the first division, he had seven goals in 50 matches, but Hamburg was relegated following the 2017-18 season and he went on loan to Hannover 96 to remain in the Bundesliga. There he scored three goals in 20 matches before returning to Hamburg in the second division for the 2019-20 season. He has seen limited time since his return, with 21 appearances in 18 months.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Bobby and his family to Salt Lake City and our Club. His proven track-record as a goal scorer, combined with his work rate and tenacity will be invaluable additions to our roster,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “He is a player who we have tracked for several years and are quite familiar with from his extensive experience with the US National Team. Over the last several months, we have had the pleasure to get to know him more personally and have the utmost confidence he will have a positive impact on our roster and locker room for years to come.”
Throughout his career, he has been on the radar for the U.S. National Team and after stints with the U-20 and U-23 teams, he made his international debut in 2013 at just 20 years old. In 45 caps, he has 13 goals, scoring most recently in a 2018 friendly against Colombia. In 14 World Cup qualifying appearances, he tallied five goals with two assists while also notching goals in the 2015 CONCACAF Cup Final and CopaAmerica Centenario in 2016.
“We are excited to have Bobby come in to give us a great option of his quality in our attack,” RSL Head Coach Freddy Juarez said. “He brings many years of European experience and experience with our national team and we are looking forward to having him here to compete and make everyone better.”
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Wood moved to California in 2005 and played with the Irvine Strikers before relocating to Germany with the 1860 Munich academy in 2007.
Real Salt Lake opens the 2021 MLS regular season on Saturday, April 24 on the road against Minnesota United before returning to Rio Tinto Stadium for the home opener on Saturday, May 1 against rival Sporting Kansas City. RSL 2021 season tickets are available by calling 844-REAL-TIX (844-732-5849).
TRANSACTION: Signed forward Bobby Wood to a contract starting July 1, 2021.
Name: Bobby Wood
Weight: 183 lbs
Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii
Last Club: Hamburg