REAL SALT LAKE ADDS D/M BLAKE WAGNER TO ROSTER
Versatile Sixth-year Veteran to Provide Quality Left-sided Depth for Claret-and-Cobalt
SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, August 16, 2011) – Real Salt Lake today announced the signing of defender/midfielder Blake Wagner to the Utah side’s roster. Per club policy, contract terms will not be disclosed.
A six-year professional, the 23-year-old Wagner is currently in his fifth season in Major League Soccer circles after spending four seasons with FC Dallas from 2006-2009 and the first half of the current MLS campaign with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, who released the Tampa native on July 28 after he made nine appearances for the 2011 expansion squad. The versatile left-sided Wagner possesses the skill set to man a midfield role, but has been used primarily at left back throughout his 49 regular season appearances to date.
With DF Chris Wingert suffering a broken left wrist in last Saturday’s defeat at Toronto FC, Wagner is expected to step in and provide immediate depth behind wing backs Tony Beltran and Robbie Russell for this Saturday’s road trip to Texas to take on the Houston Dynamo (6:30 p.m. MT kickoff, live on KMYU 2.2). Wagner has been in the Real Salt Lake camp for the last week and played 82 minutes in the RSL Reserves’ 2-0 win at FC Dallas last Tuesday.
#19 BLAKE WAGNER
Height: 5’10” Weight: 165 lbs.
Born: January 29, 1988 in Atlanta, GA
Hometown: Tampa, FL
Experience: 5th Season (2006-09, 2011)
Last club: Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2011)
RSL: Signed to a contract on 8/16/11
VAN: Signed to then USSF D-2 contact on 2/02/10; Signed to MLS contract on 3/11/11; Released on 7/28/11
DAL: Selected in the Second Round (18th overall) of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft on 1/20/06
2011 (Vancouver Whitecaps FC – MLS): Made his official return to Major League Soccer after winning a spot with Vancouver Whitecaps FC during the 2011 preseason, signing with the expansion squad just a week before the season opener on 3/11/11 … Started in all nine appearances in MLS play for Vancouver during its inaugural MLS campaign (778 minutes) … After sitting out of Whitecaps FC’s opening day 4-2 win on 3/19 v. TOR, started in eight of the team’s next 11 contests, including six straight matches beginning with 3/26 @ PHI (0-1 L) … Lined up primarily at left back for Vancouver, starting seven of his nine appearances on the Whitecaps’ backline … Also made a pair of appearances in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship tournament, going the full 90 minutes on 4/27 @ Montreal in the first leg of the Semifinals (1-0 W; 2-1 W on agg.) and playing 28 minutes off the bench on 7/02 @ TOR in the second leg of the Finals (1-2 L; 2-3 L on agg.) … Wagner’s playing time dwindled after Vancouver replaced head coach Teitur Thordarson with Tom Soehn in late May, Whitecaps FC eventually releasing him along with fellow defender Mouloud Akloul on 7/28.
2010 (Vancouver Whitecaps – USSF D-2): After beginning his career with four seasons at FC Dallas, signed on with Vancouver Whitecaps of the then-USSF D-2 League on 2/02/10 … Started in 14 of his 16 regular season appearances en route to notching four goals and an assist across 1217 minutes of play … A foot injury kept Wagner from making his debut with the Whitecaps until 6/30 @ Montreal, when he played the second half in a 2-1 win … Made his first start in Vancouver’s next contest on 7/03 @ Portland, playing 78 minutes in the scoreless rivalry fixture … Tallied his first point for the Whitecaps on 7/08 v. St. Louis, his assist on Randy Edwini-Bonsu’s equalizer helping to claim a 1-1 draw … Tallied a hat trick for the home-standing Whitecaps on 7/14 v. Miami FC, his first three goals in a Vancouver shirt leading the way in a 3-1 victory … Final goal of the campaign on 8/19 @ Tampa Bay – a highlight-reel blast from distance – helped salvage a 1-1 away draw … Also started all three appearances during Vancouver’s run in the USSF D-2 postseason, playing all but one of the 180 minutes in the Quarterfinal series against Portland (2-1 W on agg.) before leaving the first leg of the Semifinals @ Puerto Rico due to injury (back) after 56 minutes.
2009 (FC Dallas – MLS): Started eight of 15 regular season appearances during the final of his four seasons with FC Dallas, totaling 789 minutes of action … All eight of his starts came during the first half of the year for Schellas Hyndman’s side, ending with a 73-minute stint on 5/09 @ HOU (0-1 L) … Minutes would become sporadic soon after, as Wagner’s last seven appearances across the final four months of the season came off the substitute’s bench.
2008 (FC Dallas – MLS): Registered career highs in games played (24), games started (23) and minutes played (2,068) during his third season, as coach Steve Morrow plugged in the winger on the left side of the Hoops’ formation, primarily at fullback ... Started both of FCD’s contests in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on 7/01 v. Miami FC (2-1 W) and 7/08 v. Charleston (1-3 L), totaling 172 minutes across the pair of games … Registered an assist across three matches with Dallas’ MLS Reserve Division squad … Also appeared in four of FCD’s six international friendlies in 2008.
2007 (FC Dallas – MLS): His lone regular season appearance for Dallas would mark his official MLS debut, the then-19-year-old starting and playing the full 90 minutes at left back on 9/30 v. HOU (0-3 L) … Made 12 appearances on FCD’s 18-man gameday roster during his second professional season before making his breakthrough on the field … Saw plenty of action in MLS Reserve Division action, starting 11 of Dallas’ 12 contests while tallying 904 minutes of play and helping the Hoops to a 4-4-4 mark.
2006 (FC Dallas – MLS): After originally committing to play collegiately at ACC powerhouse Maryland, tacked course and signed a Generation adidas contract with Major League Soccer … Was drafted by FC Dallas in the Second Round (18th overall) of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia on 1/20/06 … While he did not see any first-team time during his rookie campaign, the 18-year-old would play both contests in FCD’s Rio Grande Plate friendly series against Mexican side Tigres, appearing off the bench in the opening leg on 7/19 at Pizza Hut Park (2-0 W) before starting the away leg a week later on 7/26 (0-2 L) … Started seven of his eight appearances in MLS Reserve Division action, playing a total of 709 minutes for the FCD Reserves at left and central positions on both the backline and in midfield.
U.S. Youth National Teams
Represented the United States regularly between 2003-08 at the U-17, U-20 & U-23 levels … U.S. Under-23s: With the USA U-23 Olympic squad, started all three Group B matches at the 2008 Toulon International Tournament in Toulon, France … Appeared in contests on 5/21 v. Turkey (2-3 L), 5/23 v. Côte d’Ivoire (0-1 L) & 5/25 v. Italy (0-2 L) … U.S. Under-20s: U-20: Was involved with the USA U-20 squad throughout much of 2006 … Made roster for a U-20 camp in Argentina in April 2006, earning a start in a 0-4 friendly defeat to Argentina U-20’s on 4/26 … Attended another training camp in Canada in July 2006 before participating in the 2006 Milk Cup tournament in Northern Ireland and the Busan International U-20 Four Nations Tournament in South Korea … Last U-20 appearance came as a late substitute at Pizza Hut Park, helping the USA to a 2-1 win over the Haitian senior squad on 3/28/07 … U.S. Under-17s: From 2003 to 2005, was a member of the United States U-17 National Team Residency Program in Bradenton, FL … As a member of the USA U-17 squad, the defender/midfielder made 20 appearances, scoring his first-ever international goal in a 4-3 friendly defeat to Uruguay U-17’s in Porte Alegre, Brazil, on 7/15/05 … Started and went the full 90 minutes in all four of the USA’s matches at the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru, including contests on 9/17 v. North Korea (3-2 W), 9/20 v. Italy (3-1 W), 9/23 v. Côte d’Ivoire (1-1 T) and the 0-2 quarterfinal defeat to the Netherlands on 9/26.
Club / Youth
Wagner attended and played soccer for Paul R. Wharton High School in Tampa, FL, during his freshman year before moving to the USA U-17 Residency Program in 2003 … It was with the Residency Program that the defender/midfielder finished high school a year early at the Edison Academic Center in Bradenton, FL … As a youth player, won three Florida State Championships with Tampa’s Black Watch Soccer Club … Also played one year with Hillsborough County United Soccer Club (HC United) in Tampa … Initially committed to playing NCAA Division I soccer with defending national champion Maryland before opting to sign a Generation adidas contract with MLS in 2006.
Born in Atlanta, Wagner moved with his family to San Diego when he was just 10 months old … By the time he was four years old, moved again with his family to his current hometown of Tampa … Parents are Carol and Bo Wagner, and grew up alongside two older brothers – Brandon and Brett – and a younger sister, Allegra … Wagner is a fan of Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam and the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers … When not concentrating on the playing field, enjoys spending time at the beach and surfing, while he also enjoys winter sports like skiing and snowboarding.