Sandy • The departure of Javier Morales from Real Salt Lake in 2016 was acrimonious to say the least. He initially announced he was leaving in a lengthy Twitter post and, just eight days later, detailed a contact dispute that left him deeply upset at the organization for not picking up his option in 2017.
But that situation didn’t change how RSL fans felt about his tenure there. Or his legacy as one of the best midfielders in club history. Or how famous “The Javi and Kyle” show became.
So when Morales received an email from a team official asking him to be part of Wednesday’s celebration of the 2009 RSL team that won the MLS Cup, Morales jumped at the opportunity. He said Tuesday that despite the way his RSL tenure ended, he wanted to celebrate the good times rather than dwell on the bad.
“Of course when I left the club, it wasn’t in the best way that I expect,” Morales said. “But it’s something I had to move on [from]. I can’t be my whole life thinking about that because at the end of the day, here happened more good things than bad things.”
At halftime of Wednesday’s RSL game against the L.A. Galaxy, the club will unveil Morales’ name and No. 11 above the players’ tunnel at Rio Tinto Stadium, next to that of former coach Jason Kreis. Although his number will be displayed, it will not be retired.
Morales said he felt grateful for being part of RSL for 10 years, calling it “this beautiful club.” He added that Wednesday’s ceremony will be a good opportunity to properly say goodbye to the fans.
“I never had the chance to say goodbye to the fans,” Morales said.
After leaving RSL, Morales played one season with FC Dallas before retiring in 2017. He is now coaching one of the academy teams for Inter Miami.