REAL SALT LAKE FINALIZES 2012 ROSTER WITH EIGHT NEW SIGNINGS
New Crop of Claret-and-Cobalt Brings RSL’s Complement of Players to 26 on Compliance Date
SANDY, Utah (Thursday, March 1, 2012) – Real Salt Lake today announced the signing of eight players to new contracts, finalizing the Utah side’s 26-man roster on today’s official date for MLS teams to reach salary budget compliance.
Today’s batch of signings includes one Homegrown Player, four 2012 draftees and three trialists:
- FW Emiliano Bonfigli [MLS Supplemental Draft (17th overall pick); last played for Manta FC (Ecuadoran 1st Division)]
- DF Leone Cruz (acquired rights via trade with Seattle Sounders FC; last played for Southern Methodist Univ.)
- DF Diogo de Almeida [MLS SuperDraft (24th overall pick), Southern Methodist Univ.]
- GK Lalo Fernandez [Homegrown Player, RSL-Arizona Academy]
- MF Enzo Martinez [MLS SuperDraft (17th overall pick), University of North Carolina]
- MF Jonny Steele [free transfer, Carolina Railhawks (NASL)]
- DF Terukazu Tanaka [free transfer, Sagan Tosu (Japanese 2nd Division)]
- MF Sebastian Velasquez [MLS SuperDraft (36th overall pick), Spartanburg Methodist College]
While RSL is keeping a core of 10 players that have been regulars in its starting lineup for the last five seasons – an MLS record – the new crop of Claret-and-Cobalt marks the largest influx of new blood since the roster overhauls of 2007 & 2008 that followed the installments of Head Coach Jason Kreis and General Manager Garth Lagerwey.
“As an organization, we couldn’t be more pleased to officially welcome these players into our side, as we believe they represent all the characteristics the RSL shield stands for,” said Lagerwey. “The caliber of the players that were fighting for roster spots during our preseason made for some difficult choices, but those are exactly the types of decisions you want to make when you’re filling out a squad. This team will represent our fans proudly both on and off the field and should allow us to seriously contend for trophies on multiple fronts once again this year.”
Today marked the deadline for all Major League Soccer clubs to be roster compliant. While a club may continue to add or release players from its roster or training camp, the club’s official roster – players under contract - must remain within the MLS roster guidelines. Players waived today will be a part of tomorrow’s Waiver Draft at 1:00 p.m. MT. Clubs that select a player who is not currently under contract during the Waiver Draft will be required to offer that player a contract. Clubs may not claim the right of first refusal for a player through waivers.
Players eligible for the Waiver Draft do include:
- Players whose clubs have not exercised their 2012 contract options
- Players who have not been signed to a new contract
- Players whose clubs do not plan on signing them to a new contract
Real Salt Lake will close out its 2012 preseason this Saturday, March 3, when it takes on the New York Red Bulls in the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup Consolation Game (6:00 p.m. MT, live streaming video on MLSsoccer.com).
Next Saturday, March 10, RSL will take part in MLS First Kick 2012, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, with a rematch of last November’s Western Conference Championship showdown against the defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy, with kickoff from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. set for 8:30 p.m. MT (live coverage on ABC4 begins at 8:00 p.m.).
On Saturday, March 17, the Claret-and-Cobalt will open their 17-game MLS regular season slate at Rio Tinto Stadium against international superstar Thierry Henry and the rest of the New York Red Bulls, with kickoff now set for 8:00 p.m. MT. For information on all the ticketing options available to take in the home opener and additional contests during the 2012 campaign in Sandy, including the Opening Day 2-Pack and the full 2012 Season Ticket Package, visit the “Tickets” section of RealSaltLake.com or call 801-727-2700.