HERRIMAN, Utah (Tuesday, January 11, 2022) – Real Salt Lake has signed midfielder Julio Benitez from Real Monarchs and RSL-AZ, making him the Club’s 29th all-time Homegrown Player. Benitez’s contract is guaranteed through the 2025 season with an option for 2026.
“Julio has proven himself to be an exceptional talent in our club since the day he arrived in the Academy. He embodies what we strive to develop at our club – athletes who excel on the field and, more importantly, off of it. I have no doubt that Julio will have a positive impact on the field and in our community for years to come," Real Salt Lake General Manager Elliot Fall said.
Benitez, 16, signed with Real Monarchs from RSL- AZ in March of 2021. During his first season as a professional he totaled 392 minutes in nine games played, seven of which were starts. Additionally, Benitez has made two appearances with the U15 U.S. Men’s National Team against Russia and Poland as part of the roster that traveled to Poland for the U15 UEFA Development Tournament.
With his addition, Benitez becomes the 11th Homegrown Player on the 2022 RSL roster, joining Andrew Brody, Bode Davis, Jeff Dewsnup, Zack Farnsworth, Chris Garcia, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, David Ochoa and Jude Wellings.
As of January 11, Real Salt Lake’s current roster headed into 2022 listed alphabetically by position as follows:
Goalkeepers (3): Jeff Dewsnup, Zac MacMath, David Ochoa
Defenders (8): Andrew Brody, Toni Datkovic, Zack Farnsworth, Justen Glad, Bret Halsey, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Marcelo Silva
Midfielders (6): Julio Benitez, Nick Besler, Maikel Chang, Damir Kreilach, Pablo Ruiz, Jude Wellings
Forwards (5): Bode Davis, Chris Garcia, Jonathan Menendez, Rubio Rubin, Bobby Wood
Real Salt Lake finished the 2021 season in dramatic fashion, booking its place in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs on Decision Day before making a run to the Western Conference Final following a 14-14-6 regular season record. RSL will open the 2022 season on the road against Houston Dynamo FC on February 27 before returning to Rio Tinto Stadium for the home opener against Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, March 7.
TRANSACTION: Real Salt Lake sign Julio Benitez as a Homegrown Player on January 11, 2022.
Name: Julio Benitez
Weight: 139 pounds
Date of Birth: July 30, 2005
Hometown: Mesa, Arizona
Citizenship: United States
Last Club: Real Monarchs
How Acquired: Signed on January 11, 2021