HERRIMAN, Utah (Tuesday, November 14, 2023) – Two senior Real Salt Lake players have been selected by their home nations to represent internationally during the current FIFA window, as Jefferson Savarino (Venezuela) and Bryan Oviedo (Costa Rica) have each been called into duty, upon Saturday’s conclusion of the 2023 RSL postseason. Additionally, a trio of RSL Academy youth standouts have been called into the U.S.A. U-16 Youth National Team camp in Carson, Calif., as Camron Estala, Gio Villa and Axel Uriostegui earn the prestigious honor.
Savarino departed directly from Houston to join Los Vinotintos, who host Ecuador Thursday in a CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifier prior to visiting Peru on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Savarino was Real Salt Lake’s leading overall goalscorer in 2023, scoring 11 times across all competitions and leading RSL for its league-specific Golden Boot with seven goals. The 26-year-old Venezuelan has appeared in 34 senior team matches for Venezuela, scoring twice.
Oviedo joins Costa Rica for upcoming CONCACAF Nations League matches against Panama this window, as Los Ticos host on Thursday before traveling to the southernmost nation in the confederation on Monday night. Despite his total of 79 career appearances with Costa Rica, Oviedo’s selection this window is his first in nearly a full year, last representing Pura Vida in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. This season, Oviedo appeared in 34 matches for RSL, starting 26 across all competitions, mostly at left back.
Several other RSL players, including DF Bryan Vera (Colombia), MF Braian Ojeda (Paraguay), D/M Kevon Lambert (Jamaica), FW Rubio Rubin (Guatemala) and FW Anderson Julio (Ecuador), were on preliminary lists to participate as needed during this window, which bumped up against the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs. For the December FIFA window, this group is possibly in play for international recall, as are several young players, including MF Diego Luna(United States U-23), MF Nelson Palacio and FW Andrés Gómez (Colombia U-23).
On Sunday, the RSL Academy trio of Estala, Villa and Uriostegui joined the U.S. U-16 Youth National Team’s training camp in Carson, California, where they will compete until Sun., Nov. 19. Estala, Villa and Uriostegui have each been called in to U-15 camps in the past, but this marks their maiden voyages with the U-16 age group as they will look to impress Head Coach Michael Nsien.
In August, Villa helped the U-15 USYNT win the U-15 CONCACAF Championship, downing rival Mexico in the final. RSL Academy standouts Will Mackay and Omar Marquez along with Real Monarchs midfielder Luca Moisa also participated in the championship run. Estala and Uriostegui were called into the U-15 training camp ahead of the tournament but did not make the final roster.
The MLS NEXT regular season is in full swing for RSL Academy, the U-17 squad has played nine matches so far, most recently falling to Sacramento Republic FC. Despite having recently made the jump from the U-15 to U-17 level, Estala, Villa, and Uriostegui have all adapted well to the older age group, logging significant minutes in MLS NEXT play. The trio will hope to continue their good form through training camp and into MLS NEXT Fest in December.