HERRIMAN, Utah (Wednesday, December 21, 2022) – Real Salt Lake selected five players in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, selecting former RSL Academy and Generation adidas forward Ilijah Paul with the 7th overall pick, Generation adidas forward Bertin Jacquesson with the 16th overall pick, forward Emeka Eneli with the 25th overall pick, midfielder Amferny Sinclair with the 45th overall pick and defender Moses Mensah with the 74th overall pick.
Additionally, the Club traded $175,000 in 2023 General Allocation Money to Atlanta United FC in exchange for the 7th overall pick, used to select Paul.
Paul, 20, returns to Utah from the University of Washington where this past year he recorded 11 goals and five assists in 19 games for the Huskies, earning himself the title of Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. Paul joined Washington ahead of the 2021 season after a year at the University of San Francisco where he only appeared in one match due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a member of the RSL Academy Paul scored 10 goals in 16 appearances before departing to sign as the youngest-ever with USL Championship side Phoenix Rising where he made three appearances in USL League One.
Jacquesson, 21, racked up 19 goals and 23 assists across 57 games during his three years at the University of Pittsburgh. In his Freshman year the French forward was named ACC Freshman of the Year after helping his team make its first-ever berth in the semifinal of the NCAA Tournament College Cup. This past year Jacquesson scored a stoppage-time game winner in the Elite Eight to send Pittsburgh back to the College Cup. Prior to moving stateside Jacquesson competed in RC Strasbourg’s academy in France. His selection at 16th overall makes Jacquesson the highest MLS SuperDraft pick in program history.
Both Paul and Jacquesson join Real Salt Lake as members of the 2022 Generation Adidas class. The Generation Adidas program is a joint venture between Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer, meaning should he be rostered he will not count against the team’s senior roster.
Eneli, 23, scored 20 goals and added 17 assists in 60 matches for Cornell University. After recording seven goals and seven assists in 2022 he was named a Second Team All-American. Eneli helped Cornell qualify for the 2022 NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the first time in nearly three decades.
Sinclair, 22, comes to Utah after recently lifting the 2022 NCAA Tournament College Cup with Syracuse University, helping his school win its first National Championship in program history. In four years at Syracuse Sinclair appeared in 64 matches, including every match of his senior year. As a native of Costa Rica, the central midfielder has appeared for his home country at various youth levels, most notably at the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup and the 2018 U-20 CONCACAF Championship.
Mensah, 24, started in 72 of his 73 games played at Campbell University where he helped the Camels win five Big South trophies and make a pair of NCAA College Cup appearances. In his senior year he was named the 2022 Big South Conference Defender of the Year and finished his career as a four-time member of the first-team All-Big South Conference. Additionally, Mensah has represented his home country of Ghana at the U-18 youth international level.
Utah’s Major League Soccer side returns in early January, 2023, as RSL’s preseason preparations in California and Arizona advance the Club’s 19th regular-season kickoff on Saturday, February 25 at Vancouver to kick off the 28th MLS campaign. RSL’s 2023 home opener is slated for Saturday, March 11 against Austin FC.
2023 Season Tickets can be purchased at www.RSL.com/tickets, or by calling 844.Real.Tix.