SANDY, Utah – (Monday, January 6, 2020) – Real Salt Lake has re-signed defender Marcelo Silva to a new contract for the 2020 season, the club announced today. The Uruguayan defender returns for his fourth season with the club.
“Marcelo has shown himself a standout center back at the MLS level. In the last three years he has proven that he can be a high-level contributor to a winning MLS side on a weekly basis,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “In pairing him with Nedum Onuoha, Justen Glad, and Eric Holt, we have a group at that position that can compete with any in the league.”
Silva, 30, featured in 19 regular season matches for RSL in 2019 making 14 total starts and scoring two goals. In addition, he started in RSL’s MLS Cup Playoff win over the Portland Timbers, giving him three career playoff starts with the club. In three seasons with RSL, he has two goals in 46 appearances, 41 of them in a starting role.
Silva originally arrived at RSL midway through the 2017 season from Spanish side Real Zaragoza. Born in Mercedes, Uruguay, Silva 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 RSL.
“Marcelo is a top center back. We feel that if we want to be one of the top teams in the league, we need to have three-to-four very good center backs. He’s a guy that shows up in big games,” RSL Head Coach Freddy Juarez said. “His presence on the field gives us confidence because of his demeanor as a powerful and strong leader and he can help make our younger players better.”
Silva is among three Real Salt Lake players with U-20 World Cup experience, joining Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad (both 2017) and David Ochoa (2019).
Real Salt Lake finished the 2019 season third in the Western Conference at 16-13-5 (53 points) and advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals for the second consecutive season. RSL will open the 2020 season on the road against Orlando City SC on February 29 before returning to Rio Tinto Stadium for the home opener against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, March 7, at 12 p.m. MT.
Real Salt Lake's current roster headed into 2020, listed alphabetically by position, is below:
Goalkeepers (3): Zac MacMath, David Ochoa, Andrew Putna
Defenders (7): Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Alvin Jones, Nedum Onuoha, Marcelo Silva, Donny Toia
Midfielders (7): Luis Arriaga, Nick Besler, Damir Kreilach, Everton Luiz, Justin Portillo, Pablo Ruiz, Albert Rusnák
Forwards (6): Corey Baird, Sam Johnson, Douglas Martinez, Jefferson Savarino, Tate Schmitt, Julian Vazquez
Transaction: RSL re-signs Marcelo Silva to multi-year contract.