REAL SALT LAKE ADDS MIDFIELDERS YORDANY ALVAREZ AND NICO MUÑIZ
Reigning USL PRO MVP and Second Home Grown Product Inked to Deals Prior to Thursday’s MLS Roster Freeze Deadline
SANDY, Utah (Friday, September 16, 2011) – Real Salt Lake has announced the signings of midfielders Yordany Alvarez and Nico Muñiz, the duo officially inking contracts just prior to Thursday’s MLS roster freeze deadline. Per club policy, financial terms of the deals will not be disclosed.
Pending receipt of work authorization, Alvarez – the 2011 United Soccer Leagues Pro Division (USL PRO) Most Valuable Player – will be available for selection for Real Salt Lake as soon as tomorrow’s regular season tilt against Sporting Kansas City at Rio Tinto Stadium (7:00 p.m. MT kickoff). Meanwhile, Muñiz – RSL’s second Home Grown signing, and the first to come straight from the squad’s burgeoning RSL-Arizona Academy program – will not officially join RSL’s roster until 2012 but will train with the first team for the duration of its 2011 campaign.
The 26-year-old Alvarez joins Real Salt Lake on the heels of a successful campaign with Orlando City S.C., which he helped to the USL PRO title. The former Cuban international, who defected from his homeland during the 2008 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in March 2008, played in 21 of Orlando City’s 24 contests (2G/0A) during the USL PRO regular season, helping the squad to the league’s top record before claiming the championship in penalties over Harrisburg City at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Sept. 3. Alvarez began his professional career with a three-year stint with hometown side FC Cienfuegos (2006-08) in his native Cuba before joining the Austin Aztex of the then USL First Division for the 2009-10 campaigns.
Muñiz’s addition to Real Salt Lake’s first team makes the Albuquerque native the first to make the voyage directly from the RSL-Arizona Academy system, which will begin its second full season of operations this fall. The 18-year-old midfielder was a key part of the RSL-AZ U-18 side’s successful inaugural campaign in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, playing in 26 of the team’s 28 contests (11 goals) during the regular season and helping the side to a 15-8-5 mark and eventual #2 wild-card seeding for the USSDA’s postseason. Muñiz started in all three of the RSL-AZ U-18s’ postseason contests at Pizza Hut Park, where the squad won its first two pool play matches before bowing out while on the cusp of qualifying for the “Finals Week” championships in Milwaukee.
With the league’s roster freeze deadline having come and gone on Thursday, there may be no changes to teams’ rosters until the day after MLS Cup (Monday, Nov. 21). Any player that is not listed as available after the deadline will remain ineligible for selection through the remainder of the regular season and the MLS Cup Playoffs. This includes players that are on the Disabled List or on loan. Teams may add short term replacements after the roster freeze date in cases of extreme hardship. In the event a team calls up a player, including League Pool Goalkeepers, during the MLS Cup Playoffs and the player appears in a game, he will be tied to that team for the remainder of the playoffs and MLS Cup. If he is called up but does not play, then he is not tied to that team.
#14 YORDANY ALVAREZ
Height: 5’10” Weight: 165 lbs.
Born: May 24, 1985 in Cienfuegos, Cuba
Hometown: Cienfuegos, Cuba
Last club: Orlando City S.C. (USL PRO) (2011)
Acquired: Signed to contract on 9/15/11
#16 NICO MUÑIZ
Height: 5’10” Weight: 155 lbs.
Born: October 18, 1992 in Albuquerque, NM
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Last club: RSL-Arizona Academy U-18s (2011)
Acquired: Signed to Home Grown Player contract on 9/15/11