HERRIMAN, Utah (Sunday, February 27, 2022) – Real Salt Lake have signed 2022 MLS SuperDraft selection Jasper Loeffelsend and goalkeeper Tomas Gomez ahead of the team’s season-opener on Sunday against Houston Dynamo FC.
Loeffelsend joins RSL on a one-year contract plus three option years while Gomez joins on a short-term agreement due to Extreme Hardship.
Loeffelsend, 24, was selected by Real Salt Lake in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft and has since spent all of preseason training with the team as they prepare for their 18th season in Major League Soccer. Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni selected Loeffelsend to feature in several preseason matches, including against Viking FK and Minnesota United during a preseason tournament in Portland, Oregon. Throughout the preseason Loeffelsend played several positions for the Claret and Cobalt, including outside back and defensive midfielder.
The German-born defender joins Real Salt Lake from the University of Pittsburg where he recorded two goals and 18 assists, in 36 appearances. In his junior and senior year, he was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was also a two-time MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist and a two-time member of the All-ACC First Team.
Gomez, 28, signs with Real Salt Lake after his most recent stint with USL Championship club Sacramento Republic. While with Sacramento he appeared in 19 matches, including 18 starts, during which he made 39 saves and added four clean sheets.
A graduate of Georgetown University, Gomez was drafted in the third round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft by the Columbus Crew SC, but ultimately signed with San Jose Earthquakes as a free agent. Since 2016, he has had an extensive career in the USL Championship spanning for four different clubs, including Rochester Rhinos, St. Louis FC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds and Sacramento Republic, all the while appearing in more than 100 matches.
While with Rochester Rhinos Gomez was awarded the USL Championship Golden Glove during both the 2016 and 2017 seasons, an award given to the top goalkeeper in the league. Between the two seasons he recorded 20 shutouts out of a possible 42 matches, while making 92 saves and allowing less than a goal per game.
Name: Jasper Loeffelsend
Date of Birth: September 10, 1997
Birthplace: Koln, Germany
Hometown: Koln, Germany
Last Club: University of Pittsburg
How Acquired: Signed on February 22, 2022
Name: Tomas Gomez
Date of Birth: May 20, 1993
Hometown: Montemorelos, Mexico
Citizenship: United States
Last Club: Sacramento Republic
TRANSACTION: Real Salt Lake sign Jasper Loeffelsend and Tomas Gomez on February 27, 2022.
As of February 27, Real Salt Lake’s current roster headed into the 2022 MLS season – listed alphabetically by position – is as follows:
Goalkeepers (5): Gavin Beavers, Jeff Dewsnup, Tomas Gomez, Zac MacMath, David Ochoa
Defenders (10): Andrew Brody, Zack Farnsworth, Justen Glad, Bret Halsey, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Johan Kappelhof, Jaziel Orozco, Marcelo Silva, Tate Schmitt
Midfielders (9):Julio Benitez, Nick Besler, Scott Caldwell, Maikel Chang, Damir Kreilach, Jasper Loeffelsend, Everton Luiz, Pablo Ruiz, Jude Wellings
Forwards (8): Sergio Cordova, Bode Davis, Chris Garcia, Axel Kei, Jonathan Menendez, Justin Meram, 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 Sunday, February 27 before returning to Rio Tinto Stadium for the home opener against Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, March 5.
ABOUT REAL SALT LAKE
During the first week of January, 2022, the RSL compendium of properties was acquired by global sports entrepreneur David Blitzer – who boasts interests in the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the New Jersey Devils (NHL), and six European soccer entities, including Crystal Palace (England), FC Augsburg (Germany), Estoril (Portugal), ADO Den Haag (Netherlands), Alcorcon (Spain) and Waasland-Beveren (Belgium). For RSL, Blitzer partners with Utah Jazz (NBA) owners Smith Entertainment Group, led by Ryan Smith.
Real Salt Lake kicks off its 18th Major League Soccer season this Spring, its first full season under Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni, who led the Utah side for the final 100 days last year, advancing to the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the 11th time in the last 14 years.
The club's MLS Cup 2009 victory marked the state of Utah's only major professional championship in nearly 40 years, the title preceding an historic run to the 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League Final. Buoyed by a passionate base boasting several thousand season ticket holders, RSL has enjoyed a prominent home-field advantage – posting a dominant 145-43-46 (Win-Loss-Draw) record across all competitions at home (2.06 points per game for a 0.771 win pct.) – since building its permanent Rio Tinto Stadium home in Sandy 13 years ago.
In 2015, the club expanded its development pyramid with the addition of Real Monarchs SLC, one of several MLS-operated clubs playing in the USL Championship, the United States' Division II setup. The Monarchs boast a pair of titles in its brief history, as the 2017 USL regular-season champions, later winning the USL Final in 2019. For the 2022 season and beyond, Real Monarchs will compete in the newly launched “MLS NEXT Pro” as part of a joint United States and Canada endeavor to complete the professional player pathway by connecting youth academies in MLS NEXT to first teams in Major League Soccer.
The entire RSL developmental pipeline, which includes the RSL Academy’s U-15 and U-17 teams, calls the expansive Zions Bank Training Center in Herriman, Utah their daily training home. With five world-class grass fields, two indoor turf fields, a residential dormitory, the STEM-based RSL Academy High School and the 5,000-seat Zions Bank Stadium located on a 42-acre campus, Utah’s sporting future is bright.
Added in 2020 was the elite RSL Academy basketball program, already earning accolades internationally for its vision, mission, and accomplishments.
The RSL Community Foundation was established in 2016, created with the goals of being active in the community year-round, utilizing the popularity and reach of RSL and the Monarchs in promoting health and wellness in children throughout the region, engaging supporters of soccer to raise funds and volunteer time for various local initiatives.
2022 RSL Full- and Half-Season Ticket Packages are now on sale
at www.RSL.com or by calling 844.Real.Tix.