HERRIMAN, Utah (Monday, February 10, 2020) – Real Salt Lake has signed RSL Academy forward Christopher Garcia to a Homegrown contract, the club announced today. Garcia becomes the 21st Homegrown Player signed by the club.
“Chris is the latest in a long line of extremely talented players to come from our academy,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “He has already proven himself a standout academy performer and has been excellent when incorporated into professional training sessions. His technical ability and fantastic work rate give him an unlimited ceiling on his professional career.”
Garcia,17, joined the RSL Academy ahead of the 2018-2019 season and has since recorded 18 goals in 38 games while making 30 starts. He has seven goals in six matches during the current 2019-20 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season. Playing primarily with the RSL U-17s, Garcia helped lift his side to an undefeated run in the USSDA Winter Showcase, with a goal across three appearances. The RSL Academy standout has spent the preseason training with RSL.
Real Salt Lake currently has 11 products of the RSL Academy on its 2020 roster – goalkeeper David Ochoa; defenders Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt and Donny Toia; midfielder Luis Arriaga; and forwards Corey Baird, Garcia, Milan Iloski, Tate Schmitt, and Julian Vazquez. In each of the last two seasons, RSL has led MLS in minutes played by its academy products totaling over 23,000 regular season minutes.
Real Salt Lake finished the 2019 season third in the Western Conference at 16-13-5 (53 points) and advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals for the second consecutive season. RSL will open the 2020 season on the road against Orlando City SC on February 29 before returning to Rio Tinto Stadium for the home opener against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, March 7, at 12 p.m. MT.
TRANSACTION: Signed FW Christopher Garcia as a Homegrown Player on February 10, 2020.
Name: Christopher Garcia
Weight: 142 lbs
Born: 1/13/2003 (17 yo)
Hometown: El Paso, Texas
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas
Last Club: RSL Academy
Real Salt Lake's current roster headed into 2020, listed alphabetically by position, is below:
Goalkeepers (3): Zac MacMath, David Ochoa, Andrew Putna
Defenders (8): Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Alvin Jones, Ashtone Morgan, Nedum Onuoha, Marcelo Silva, Donny Toia
Midfielders (8): Luis Arriaga, Kyle Beckerman, Nick Besler, Damir Kreilach, Everton Luiz, Justin Portillo, Pablo Ruiz, Albert Rusnák
Forwards (9): Corey Baird, Maikel Chang, Christopher Garcia, Milan Iloski, Sam Johnson, Douglas Martinez, Jeizon Ramírez, Tate Schmitt, Julian Vazquez