Real Salt Lake added to its roster Thursday by signing forward Tate Schmitt and defender Erik Holt to homegrown contacts, the club announced.
Schmitt, 21, played four years at Louisville University, where he earned several accolades. He started 74 of the 80 games he played and scored 26 goals while adding 17 assists.
Schmitt spent two years in the RSL academy — when it was in Arizona — before college, and was an integral part of the of the 2014 and 2015 teams that were national runners-up.
“I’m very excited to have signed my first professional contract with Real Salt Lake and it’s a very proud moment for myself and my family,” Schmitt said in a news release.
Holt, 22, played center back for four years at UCLA, where he started 61 of his 71 matches. He was on the 2015 RSL academy team, and was periodically called up to RSL to appear in reserve matches.
“It’s been a really exciting experience to be able to fulfill the dream of becoming a professional soccer player,” Holt said. “I can’t wait to get started.”
Schmitt and Holt make up the 11th and 12th homegrown players signed to contracts by RSL. Other notable homegrown are Justen Glad, Corey Baird, Brooks Lennon and Aaron Herrera, all of whom saw significant time on the pitch last season.
“We know that Tate and Erik are players that would be first round selections if they entered the draft,” general manager Craig Waibel said in the release. “Having the ability to sign both as RSL Academy graduates is another step in following our youth development philosophy while giving both the ability to develop into first team players over time. They both had remarkable college careers and we are excited about what the future holds for them here at the club.”
Head coach Mike Petke took to Twitter and voiced support for the signings.
RSL signed Schmitt and Holt ahead of the MLS SuperDraft, which takes place Jan. 11.