SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake announced the signing of Guatemalan defender Elias Vasquez, pending receipt of his P-1 visa and ITC. Per league and club policy, further terms of the contract will not be disclosed.
“For such a young player, he’s very experienced. The club thought it was very important in finding that player,” Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar said. “We wanted a player that could stay with our team for a long time and I think Elias fits that perfectly. He’s a young player in the national team for Guatemala. He’s a starter for his club team and he has come in with a fantastic attitude.”
Vasquez, 22, played three seasons with Comunicaciones in Guatemala from 2011-2014, making 86 appearances in Liga Nacional and three more in CONCACAF Champions League. He was a part of teams that finished with the best league record in three consecutive seasons and qualified for CONCACAF Champions League in his final two campaigns. After the 2013-2014 season, he transferred to Dorados in the second division in Mexico, but played in just four matches across all competitions before completing his transfer to Real Salt Lake.
In addition to his club career, Vasquez also has been a regular fixture with the Guatemalan National Team, making 25 appearances since his debut in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup against Jamaica. He played four matches in the third round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Vasquez is the ninth Guatemalan to play in the Major League Soccer and second for Real Salt Lake. He follows Gustavo Cabrera (Real Salt Lake), Freddy Garcia (Columbus Crew), Martin Machon (LA Galaxy, Miami Fusion), Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire, Seattle Sounders), Guillermo Ramirez (LA Galaxy), Jorge Rodas (San Jose Clash), Mario Rodriguez (Columbus Crew) and Carlos Ruiz (LA Galaxy, FC Dallas, Toronto FC, D.C. United, Philadelphia Union).
Real Salt Lake is in its final week of preseason training camp in Tucson, Ariz. For daily updates from camp, stay tuned to www.RealSaltLake.com. Real Salt Lake opens the 2015 season with a road match against the Portland Timbers on March 7, with the home opener following against the Philadelphia Union on March 14.
Player: Elias Vasquez
Weight: 170 pounds
Date of Birth: June 18, 1992
Birthplace: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Previous Clubs: Comunicaciones (Guatemala); Dorados (Mexico)
How acquired: Signed to a contract on Jan. 24, 2015.