SANDY, Utah (Monday, July 3, 2017) – On Monday, Real Salt Lake announced the signing of Uruguayan DF Marcelo Silva. The center back comes to Major League Soccer after spending most of the last eight years in Spain’s La Liga and La Liga 2. He will join the team for training this week and will be eligible to play after the opening of the summer transfer window on July 10 and upon approval of his U.S. P-1 visa and receipt of his International Transfer Certificate. RSL used Targeted Allocation Money to sign Silva.
“We have been looking to improve our defense, but wanted to find the right fit. In Marcelo, we found a solid center back, a leader and someone we think will really fit into our locker room – which was an important aspect to our search,” Real Salt Lake General Manager Craig Waibel said. “He is a savvy veteran from Europe who has a strong desire to come to RSL and help us build something special.”
Silva, 28, was born in Mercedes, Uruguay and spent his younger days playing with the country’s U-20 National Team, helping reach the Knockout Round of the 2009 U-20 World Cup. After starting his professional career in Uruguay with Danubio, he moved to Spain in 2010 with Almeria in the top flight. In four seasons with Almeria – two in La Liga and two in Liga Adelante – he played 45 league matches, helping earn promotion in the 2012-13 season. He spent part of 2012 on loan to Peñarol in Uruguay and made two appearances in Copa Libertadores in that stint. After leaving Almeria, he played for Las Palmas, Real Valladolid and Real Zaragoza before landing with Real Salt Lake.
“I am very excited to bring Marcelo to RSL,” Real Salt Lake Head Coach Mike Petke said. “He is someone who we have researched extensively and hold a very high opinion on as a player as well as a person. His talent, experience and professionalism will be a huge benefit in the locker room and on the field.”
Silva is among five Real Salt Lake defenders with U-20 World Cup experience, joining Tony Beltran (2007), Aaron Maund (2009), Justen Glad and Danilo Acosta (both 2017). He will add quality and experience to a group that has allowed 38 goals through 19 matches – second most in MLS.
“MLS has improved a lot in these past few years. I believe it is a league where I can continue to grow as player and as a professional,” Silva said. “I think I made the right decision to come here because the teams in the league are growing a lot and I think that will allow me to keep improving professionally.”
TRANSACTION: Real Salt Lake signs DF Marcelo Silva
Coming in late Summer, 2017, the Zions Bank Real Academy opens in Herriman, Utah, approximately 20 minutes southwest of Rio Tinto Stadium. The $60 million facility will serve as the daily training home beginning in 2018 for both of the club's professional teams – RSL (MLS) and Real Monarchs (USL) – while centralizing the club's U-18, U-16 and future U-14 development academy youth selections. Including the 5,000-seat Zions Bank Stadium as well as the Zions Bank Training Center, the Herriman campus will provide adjacencies for an on-site charter school opening this Fall, with STEM disciplines (Science / Technology / Engineering / Math) for nearly 300 boys and girls. View recent video of the Zions Bank Real Academy project HERE.
In mid-November in North Logan, Utah, RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen broke ground on the first of a half-dozen regional training centers across Utah and Arizona to be built in the next 2-3 years. Each $5 million RTC houses a classroom, as well as an indoor and outdoor field, dedicated to fulfilling a curriculum consistent with the club's vision and mission for youth soccer training and education, and the continued development of both recreational and competitive pre-Academy (ages 7-12) initiatives across Utah and Arizona.