Leone-Cruz_Sounders-training-2011 (620x350)

RSL Trades for Leone Cruz, Adds Three in Supplemental Draft


2011 MLS SuperDraft Pick Cruz Acquired from Seattle in Exchange for First Round Supplemental Draft Pick Andy Rose;

Supplemental Draft Selections FW Emiliano Bonfigli, FW Oliver Kupe and MF Benjamin Ubierna to also Join RSL When Preseason Begins Next Week in Utah


SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, January 17, 2012) – Real Salt Lake was one of the more active teams during today’s 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, which was conducted this afternoon with officials from all 19 MLS squads via conference call. After selecting four players – M/D Andy Rose (6th overall/first round), FW Emiliano Bonfigli (17th overall/first round), FW Oliver Kupe (36th overall/second round) and MF Benjamin Ubierna (55th overall/third round) – during the first three rounds of today’s draft, RSL passed on filling out its full complement of picks by passing on its fourth round (74th overall) selection.

Following the Supplemental Draft, Real Salt Lake traded the rights to Rose to Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for the MLS contract rights to DF Leone Cruz, who was selected by Sounders FC in the second round (21st overall) in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft and featured in a pair of MLS Reserve League contests on behalf of the Claret-and-Cobalt last August.

Cruz, Bonfigli, Kupe and Ubierna are expected to join the rest of the Real Salt Lake camp on the Wasatch Front late next week to begin the squad’s 2012 preseason, which will begin in earnest with fitness testing on Thursday, Jan. 26 following exit physicals the day prior. A finalized preseason roster including all signed players, SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft picks and trialists will be released next week in the run-up to the start of the 2012 preseason schedule.


TRANSACTION: Real Salt Lake selects M/D Andy Rose (6th overall), FW Emiliano Bonfigli (17th), FW Oliver Kupe (36th) and MF Benjamin Ubierna (55th) in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft

TRANSACTION: RSL trades rights to 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft selection Andy Rose to Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for MLS rights to DF Leone Cruz


Leone Cruz

Position: Defender

Height: 6’ 0’’                 Weight: 172 lbs.

Born: June 13, 1987

Hometown: Round Rock, Texas

Citizenship: USA/Mexico

College: Southern Methodist University

MLS Experience: Rookie

Last Club: Southern Methodist University (2010)

Pronunciation: lee-OH-nay

Acquired: MLS rights obtained from Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for rights for Andy Rose on Jan. 17, 2012


Collegiate Stats at Southern Methodist University

Year                             GP/GS        G          A   

2010 (senior)                 17/17          1          3

2009 (junior)                  10/7            2          0

2008 (sophomore)         16/16          3          1

2007 (R/S soph.)           4/4              1          1

2006 (freshman)            20/3            2          0   

Totals                           67/47          9          5


Selected by Seattle Sounders FC in the second round (21st overall) of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore, Mary., but was cut by Seattle during the 2011 preseason … Featured twice for Real Salt Lake in MLS Reserve League action in 2011, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2-0 win at FC Dallas (8/09) and starting and playing 82 minutes in a 0-1 defeat at Houston (8/21) …

Over his career at SMU, Cruz played in 67 games, scoring nine goals and adding five assists … Named to the NSCAA Midwest Regional Second Team as well as the Conference USA Second Team in 2010 after helping lead the Mustangs to a 16-2-2 record, an Elite Eight appearance and a Conference USA Regular Season Championship … Also named to Conference USA Second Team in 2008 and to the 2006 Conference USA All-Freshman Team … Finished his Economics degree at SMU in the summer of 2011 … Was in the U.S. Youth National Team pools at the U-15, U-16 and U-18 levels … A five-year member of the Olympic Development Program growing up in Texas.


Emiliano Bonfigli

Position: Forward

Height: 5’10”     Weight: 148 lbs.

Born: April 15, 1988

Hometown: Bahia Blanca, Argentina

Citizenship: Argentina (Youth International)

College: N/A

MLS Experience: Rookie

Last Club: Manta F.C. (Ecuadoran Serie A) (2011)

Pronunciation: bon-FEE-glee

Acquired: Selected 17th overall (first round) in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft on Jan. 17, 2012


Began professional career with Club Almargo of the Argentine Primera B Metropolitana, the regionalized third division of Argentina … Scored 16 goals in 13 contests (all starts) in Almagro’s 2010/11 campaign … Moved on to Manta F.C. of the Ecuadoran Serie A (first division) for the “second phase” of its 2011 season in August, notching a pair of assists across 18 appearances (7 starts).


Oliver Kupe

Position: Forward

Height: 6’ 3’’                 Weight: 185 lbs.

Born: November 11, 1989

Hometown: Clarkston, Mich.

Citizenship: USA/Congo

College: Northwestern University

MLS Experience: Rookie

Last Club: Northwestern University (2011)

Pronunciation: KOO-pay

Acquired: Selected 36th overall (second round) in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft on Jan. 17, 2012


Collegiate Stats at Northwestern University

Year                             GP/GS        G          A   

2011 (senior)                 19/12          8          1

2010 (junior)                  18/12          10         1

2009 (sophomore)         19/14          2          7

2008 (freshman)            19/0            2          2   

Totals                           75/38          22         11


Finished his NU career seventh on the school’s all-time goals list (22) and ninth in points (55) … Lead Northwestern in goals (eight) and points (17) during the 2011 season, scoring in key moments for the Wildcats during their 11-match unbeaten streak and helping NU win both the Big Ten regular season and Tournament titles ... Twice named an All-Big Ten selection in 2011 (unanimous First Team pick) and 2010 (Second Team after a notching team-high 10 goals)  … Parents – Drs. Joachim and Anne-Marie Kupe – were both born in the Democratic Republic of Congo … Has obtained a United States Green Card and would not count against allotment of international players should he make the team’s 2012 roster.


Benjamin Ubierna

Position: Midfielder

Height: 6’ 1’’                 Weight: 163 lbs.

Born: November 22, 1991 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Hometown: Lima, Peru

Citizenship: Peru

College: N/A

MLS Experience: Rookie

Last Club: C.D. Universidad San Martin de Porres (Primera Division Puruana) (2011)

Pronunciation: oo-bee-ER-na

Acquired: Selected 55th overall (third round) in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft on Jan. 17, 2012


Began his professional career in Peru with Universidad San Martin de Porres, where he played in the team’s Reserve Divison outfit in 2010 … Made his senior team debut in the Primera Division Puruana (first division) in December 2010 against Alianza Lima … Played in one contest for Universidad San Martin in the prestigious Copa Liberatadores (South American club championship) … Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was brought up in the youth system of Esther Grande de Bentin in Lima, Peru … Made debut for the Peru Under-20 National Team in December 2010 after being called into an earlier camp the previous July … Made three appearances for Peru during its run as host of the South American Under-20 Championships in Jan./Feb. 2011


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