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Real Salt Lake

RSL finalizes move to bring attacking piece Luis Silva back from Tigres

First Published      Last Updated Jan 27 2017 04:18 pm

Fresh off celebrating a Liga MX crown with Tigres UANL, Luis Silva is returning to Major League Soccer, and Real Salt Lake. The 28-year-old midfielder/forward signed a new deal with RSL on Friday and already has joined the club in Casa Grande, Ariz., for the first portion of the 2017 preseason. Silva returns from Tigres after joining the high-profile Mexican club once he went out-of-contract at RSL in the 2015 offseason.

The Silva signing deepens the attacking portion of RSL's roster that, at the moment, still needs it after the offseason departures of Javier Morales and Burrito Martinez. Versatile up front, Silva should be able to not only make an impact at the No. 10 role in the midfield at times, but also out wide up top in the club's 4-3-3 look.

"We are excited to have Luis back," RSL general manager Craig Waibel said in a statement. "He's a talented player that we loved having here, and during that time, he fit in very well with the organization. He can play multiple positions and brings another dimension to the attacking front."

Tigres won the 2016 Apertura league final on Christmas Day in penalty kicks against rival Club America, but Silva celebrated the title while not playing a minute in league play that season.

The UC-Santa Barbara product made four appearances overall for Tigres last year — two of which came in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. RSL originally acquired Silva in July 2015 when it dealt all-time leading scorer Alvaro Saborio to D.C. United. In 10 league matches with RSL that season, Silva started seven but didn't register a goal or an assist in 530 minutes played.

Drafted fourth overall by Toronto FC in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, Silva eventually had his breakout season at D.C. United in 2014, scoring 11 goals and notching four assists in 22 starts. In 79 starts in MLS, Silva scored 20 goals and 13 assists, but injuries severely slowed building off that banner season in 2014.

The new deal with RSL has been a long time coming. The RSL front office had been in the process of pursuing Silva's return for much of the offseason. Waibel described the move last week as "a longer endeavor than any of us thought it'd be when we first started talking about it," but now RSL has added another piece to the puzzle with the season opener a month away.

RSL's major signing this offseason was Designated Player Albert Rusnák, the 22-year-old Slovakian attacking midfielder who joins from Dutch club FC Groningen. RSL also recently finalized deals with free agent veteran forward Chad Barrett and center back David Horst.

ckamrani@sltrib.com

Twitter: @chriskamrani



 

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