Acquired: Signed to a contract on 2/24/12
Jonny Steele has squeezed a career’s worth of stops into his first eight professional seasons, but the preseason pact he signed with Real Salt Lake might just allow the 26-year-old midfielder to stop and settle down for awhile … besides, there’s precedence for this sort of thing with the Utah side (see Williams, Andy). After years of hopping between second divisions clubs and indoor teams, the native of Northern Ireland has finally earned the opportunity to display his talents on the North American continent’s top stage, eight years after his stateside journey began with a trial for FC Dallas. While Steele’s presence will ratchet up the amount of bite in the RSL midfield, thinking of him as simply a “hardman” would be a mistake, as the former Wolverhampton performer didn’t win the 2008 USL-1 MVP award for the Puerto Rico Islanders on hard tackles alone.
Professional Career: Began career with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2004, but failed to appear for the first team during their brief climb to the English Premier League … Moved across the pond in 2004 and, after undergoing an unsuccessful trial with FC Dallas, landed for the season with the Syracuse Salty Dogs (9 GP, 1 goal) in the then-USL A-League … Split 2005 between A-League’s Rochester Raging Rhinos and Ballymena United of the Irish Premier League … Returned to Rochester in 2006 before moving on to the expansion Carolina Railhawks of the USL First Division in 2007 … Enjoyed great success during two-year stint with the Puerto Rico Islanders in 2008-09, his USL-1 MVP campaign in 2008 helping lift the Islanders to the league’s championship (6G in 49 GP in two seasons) … Made 23 appearances between the Vancouver Whitecaps (13 GP) and Tampa Bay Rowdies (10 GP) during the 2010 USSF D-2 Pro League season … Rejoined Carolina for its 2011 season in the NASL, making 22 appearances while helping the squad to the league’s regular season title … Also spent time with professional indoor soccer outfits Kansas City Comets (2004-05), Baltimore Blast (2005-2007) and Philadelphia KIXX (2007-08).