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Utah's Newest World Cup Talent, Bryan Oviedo

HERRIMAN, Utah (Thursday, August 4, 2022) – Real Salt Lake today signed 32-year old DF Bryan Oviedo, a European-based Costa Rican international. With 12 Club seasons and 186 games played in England and Denmark with such storied clubs as Everton, Sunderland, Copenhagen and Nordsjælland, Oviedo arrives on the Wasatch Front as he prepares for Costa Rica’s 2022 FIFA World Cup participation this Winter in Qatar.

Oviedo appeared in just seven games as a teenager with legendary side Saprissa before moving to FC Copenhagen from 2010-12 for 30 appearances, with another 14 matches on loan to Nordsjælland in 2011. Oviedo won five trophies with Copenhagen in just two years, helping clinch the 2009-10 and 2012-13 Danish Superliga trophies, and the 2010-11 and 2011-12 Danish Super Cup titles.

From 2012-17, Oviedo made 50 appearances with Everton FC in England, including scoring an 86th-minute game-winner away at Manchester United in 2013, giving Everton its first win at Old Trafford in 21 years. Oviedo’s 2014 season was lost – as was his 2014 Costa Rican World Cup candidacy – after suffering a broken leg in Everton’s fourth-round FA Cup tie against Stevenage.

During the early 2017 winter window, Oviedo made a permanent move to Sunderland AFC, where he made 70 appearances and scored twice before returning to Copenhagen in the Summer window of 2019. When his contract expired with the Danish side this June, Oviedo had made 33 appearances for Copenhagen, helping his club qualify for UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2017-18.

Sixteen of Oviedo’s 71 total appearances for the Costa Rican international side have come during the 2021-22 calendar years, as Oviedo helped Los Ticos qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, starting and playing a full 90 in the mid-June playoff against New Zealand, Costa Rica winning 1-0 to advance to Group E, which also includes Germany, Spain and Japan.

“Bryan is a left back who brings a wealth of experience and ability to our backline," said Real Salt Lake General Manager Elliot Fall. "He’s a well-rounded player who is excellent on the ball and has physical attributes that will translate well to our league. In adding him to our roster, we now have one of the best groups of outside backs in MLS."

Oviedo is the first Costa Rican to join RSL since FW Alvaro Saborio (2010-15, 63 goals in 127 matches) in 2015 and just the fifth overall to play with the Utah side. Others were MF Douglas Sequeira (2006, 1 goal in 18 matches), FW Jafet Soto (2006, 1 goal in 8 matches) and DF Daniel Torres (2006-07, 26 matches). There are currently eight Costa Ricans playing in Major League Soccer, making Oviedo the ninth. Including Oviedo, four play in the Western Conference, including Julio Cascante (Austin FC), Randall Leal (Nashville SC) and Marvin Loria (Portland Timbers)

Should he appear with Costa Rica in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Oviedo will become one of just six RSL players to participate in a FIFA World Cup, joining Kyle Beckerman (United States, 2014), Robbie Findley (United States, 2010), Eddie Pope (United States, 2006), Nick Rimando (United States, 2014) and Sequeira (Costa Rica, 2006).

Transaction Details

#xx – Bryan Oviedo

Pronunciation: BRY-an oh-VEE-eh-doh

Position: Defender

Height: 5-8

Weight: 170

Hometown: San José, Costa Rica

Date of Birth: 18 February 1990 (32)

Nationality: Costa Rican

How Acquired: Signed as a free agent

TRANSACTION: Real Salt Lake add DF Bryan Oviedo on Thursday, August 4, 2022.

As of August 4, 2022, Real Salt Lake’s current roster during the ongoing MLS campaign, listed alphabetically by position, is as follows:

Goalkeepers (4): Gavin Beavers, Jeff Dewsnup, Tomas Gomez, Zac MacMath

Defenders (11): Andrew Brody, Zack Farnsworth, Justen Glad, Bret Halsey, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Johan Kappelhof, Jaziel Orozco, Bryan Oviedo, Marcelo Silva, Tate Schmitt

Midfielders (11): Julio Benitez, Nick Besler, Scott Caldwell, Maikel Chang, Bode Hidalgo, Damir Kreilach, Jasper Löffelsend, Diego Luna, Braian Ojeda, Pablo Ruiz, Jude Wellings

Forwards (9): Sergio Cordova, Chris Garcia, Anderson Julio, Axel Kei, Justin Meram, Danny Musovski, Rubio Rubin, Jefferson Savarino, Bobby Wood

With 34 points accumulated through 23 games of the 2022 MLS campaign, Real Salt Lake (9-7-7, 34 pts, 5th West) is part of an eight-team glut from 3rd to 10th place separated by just five points in the race for the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs (seven teams) and a home postseason match (four teams). Under Pablo Mastroeni, the Club’s sixth head coach in 18 seasons, RSL

For the first time in Club history, RSL has opened the year with 12 consecutive sellouts at Rio Tinto Stadium – the 7-1-3 (W-L-T) home record amongst the best in MLS this season – while Mastroeni and staff have utilized 28 players and 24 starters throughout an injury-filled first half of the year, as the Club has seen nearly 160 combined games of player availability lost due to injury, suspension or international duty.

Real Salt Lake finished last 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. Saturday’s match at Rio Tinto Stadium against star-studded LAFC featuring Carlos Vela (Mexico), Gareth Bale (Wales) and Giorgio Chiellini (Italy) is expected to threaten the venue’s all-time attendance mark, set back in September, 2018, against Zlatan and the LA Galaxy.