SANDY, Utah (Monday, February 27, 2017) – On Monday, Real Salt Lake announced that the club has signed FW Joao Plata to a new multi-year contract, adding to a growing list of players under the age of 25 that have signed to long-term contracts in recent weeks. Plata will continue to occupy a Designated Player spot.
“Any time you can make a long-term commitment between the player and the club on such a promising player with so much attacking ability, you never shy away from that opportunity. The timing was perfect to extend,” Real Salt Lake General Manager Craig Waibel said. “He’s having a good time with RSL. He continues the mold we’ve created of solidifying a core group of players that can be here for a long time.”
Plata, 24, came to Real Salt Lake in a trade with Toronto FC prior to the 2013 season. Since joining the Claret-and-Cobalt, he has twice won the club’s Golden Boot award in 2014 and 2016 and has totaled 30 goals and 30 assists in regular season play with RSL. He ranks fifth in goals and third in assists in club history.
In addition, Plata is also the youngest among 14 currently active players in MLS to exceed both 30 goals and 30 assists in their careers. Including his two seasons with Toronto FC, Plata has 33 goals and 35 assists in his MLS career.
“Ever since I came to Real Salt Lake, I’ve felt at home,” Plata said. “The team, the players, the fans – they all welcomed me and I’m happy to stay here for a long time.”
Real Salt Lake opens the 2017 season at Rio Tinto Stadium this Saturday, March 4, against Toronto FC.
TRANSACTION: Real Salt Lake (MLS) signs FW Joao Plata to a new contract.