HERIMMAN, UTAH (Thursday, March 11, 2021) – Real Salt Lake Head Coach Freddy Juarez announced the addition of Matt Taylor to his coaching staff. The 39-year-old California native spent most of his playing career in Germany before retiring in 2017 and joining the UCLA Bruins coaching staff.
“We are fortunate to get someone of Matt Taylor’s experience as a coach and as a player. He played in Europe, played in MLS and coached in college. That experience is tough to find in a coach,” Juarez said. “It was also important that he fits the staff and he is a positive, hard-working coach.”
As a player, Taylor was among the top scorers in UCLA’s history with 33 goals, helping the Bruins win the NCAA National Championship as a junior in 2002. He was selected fourth overall in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft by the Kansas City Wizards and went on to score five goals in 54 matches for Kansas City and Chivas USA after a move to the LA club following the 2005 season. After a stint with the Portland Timbers in USL and a brief stop with semi-pro Hollywood United, who upset the Timbers in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, he spent the next nine seasons in Germany, where he scored double-digit goals in four seasons.
His European career started with Germany’s second division with TuS Koblenz, where he scored seven goals with four assists in 22 matches. In the 2009-2010 season, he played with FSV Frankfurt, scoring 14 goals with three assists in 15 matches with the reserves. He continued with Rot Weiss Ahlen in 2010-2011, SC Paderborn 07 in 2011-2012, Preuben Munster from 2012-2014 and FC Saarbrucken from 2014-2016 before finishing his career with Kickers Offenbach. He enjoyed his most productive seasons with Rot Weiss Ahlen, where he scored 17 goals in 30 matches in 2010-2011 and in 2012-2013 when he notched 16 goals and five assists in 34 matches for Preuben Munster. All told, he had 39 goals and 12 assists in the German third division and 11 goals and six assists in 54 matches in the second division and totaled 87 goals and 29 assists in 249 matches in Germany.
Taylor spent the last three seasons at UCLA and helped Milan Iloski explode to 17 goals in his junior season in 2019 before signing with Real Salt Lake.
“The allure to make the jump back to MLS is always something that I’ve been interested in and the conversations I had with Freddy and his staff added fuel to that fire,” Taylor said. “Following the development of Real Salt Lake and the youth academy, and after spending time at the training center recruiting players, I really enjoy the structure and the organization. It reminds me of some of the clubs in Germany that have been developing players for years and I look forward to being a part of that.”
Real Salt Lake is in the midst of preseason at the Zions Bank Training Center in Herriman, Utah. RSL will kick off the 2021 MLS regular season on Saturday, April 24 on the road against Minnesota United FC before returning to Rio Tinto Stadium for the home opener on Saturday, May 1 against Sporting Kansas City.