Herriman, Utah (Wednesday, May 4, 2022) – Major League Soccer’s primary transfer window is drawing to a close, Real salt lake confirmed the return of Venezuelan FW Jefferson Savarino, the fan favorite who played at Rio Tinto Stadium from 2017 to 2019. Savarino, now 25, returns on a guaranteed four-year contract until 2025, with a club option for the 2026 season. Savarino, an exceptionally versatile attacker who has won six trophies at Atletico Mineiro in Brazil since joining from RSL two years ago the Belo Horizonte side has been sold is expected to arrive later this month as the club’s newest designated player, who has placed No. 1 in Major League Soccer’s allocation rankings.
“Bringing Jefferson back to Salt Lake has been an exciting process over the past few months – obviously we have great memories of him being here to represent our badge, our colors, our community and certainly sparked our attack,” said the general manager of Real Salt Lake Elliot fall, who was instrumental in both the initial acquisition of Savarino in May 2017 and the player’s sale to Atletico Mineiro 26 months ago. “During his Brazilian experience over the past few years, Jefferson has matured as a player and as a person. We expect him to bring even more danger as a playmaker and finishing option for RSL and look forward to seeing him link up with so many dangerous figures on the roster. His familiarity with Sergio Cordova at the national team level is also a bonus for both players and our club couldn’t be happier to welcome Jefferson and his family back to Utah.”
Savarino spent three seasons at Real Salt Lake (2017-19) on loan and then permanently from Zulia FC, his hometown club in Venezuela, before being sold to Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro in February 2020. Savarino scored 22 goals and added 21 assists in 87 games (83 starts) in MLS competitions during his previous stint on the Wasatch frontline, ranked 10th in Reg. Season RSL goalscorers (21) and sixth in assists ( 21). A standout offensive player, Savarino led the team in 2018 in goal-winning goals (3), assists per game (0.34), shots shot (78), shots on goal (31), fouls suffered (70), and offside (18). Savarino led the RSL team in shots shot (79), shots on target (37) and shots on target (46.8) in 2019.
“My family and I have long anticipated returning to Utah; We have great memories of the fans, the community, the stadium and of course my teammates,” Savarino said today from Venezuela, who has yet to acquire both the work visa and international transfer certificate paperwork. “I’ve been told that our dressing room works very closely together and that the club is on the road to success. I look forward to meeting and working with Pablo Mastroeni and the whole team as my friend Damir has shared wonderful things with me. I am grateful to Elliot, the new owners and everyone who helped make this move back to Real Salt Lake possible. I’m focused on scoring goals, creating excitement and doing absolutely everything to bring trophies and achievements to Utah.”
Upon arrival in Utah, Savarino is reunited with several former RSL teammates, including Captain Damir KreilachDF Justin glad & Aaron Herreracenter back Marcelo Silva and MF Everton Luisamong others – as well as Fellow wine into fw Sergio Cordovawho was loaned out by FC Augsburg (Bundesliga) in February.
During his two and a half years in Brazil, Savarino provided a number of key goals for Mineiro in various South American competitions – a total of 21 goals and 21 assists in 93 games. In the league, Savarino’s team won the title of the “Campeonato Mineiro” league in each of its three seasons (2020, 2021, 2022), as well as the Copa do Brasil 2021 and the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A 2021. This 2022 season brought Savarino’s side additional ones Hardware about the Supercopa do Brasil. Savarino also took part in the highly regarded Copa Libertadores for Mineiro in 2020 and 2021.
#11 – Jefferson Savarino
Pronunciation: YEFF – uh – son sav – uh – REE – no
DOB: November 11, 1996 (25)
As acquired: Signed on permanent transfer from Atletico Mineiro (Brazil).
TRANSACTION: Real Salt Lake signs FW Jefferson Savarino via allocation from Atletico Mineiro on Wednesday 4 May 2022.
As of May 4, 2022, the current Real Salt Lake squad during the ongoing MLS campaign, listed alphabetically by position, is as follows:
Goalkeeper (4): Gavin Beavers, Jeff Dewsnup, Zac MacMath, David Ochoa
Defender (11): Andrew Brody, Zack Farnsworth, Justen Glad, Bret Halsey, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Chris Kablan, Johan Kappelhof, Jaziel Orozco, Marcelo Silva, Tate Schmitt
Midfielder (10): Julio Benitez, Nick Besler, Scott Caldwell, Maikel Chang, Bode Davis, Damir Kreilach, Jasper Loffelsend, Everton Luiz, Pablo Ruiz, Jude Wellings
Forward (9): Sergio Cordova, Chris Garcia, Anderson Julio, Axel Kei, Jonathan Menendez, Justin Meram, Rubio Rubin, Jefferson Savarino, Bobby Wood
In the first 10 games of the 2022 MLS season, RSL (4-2-4, 16 points, t-3rd West) played six of their first nine away games, including seven games against 2021 MLS Cup opponents. For the first time in club history RSL opened the year with four straight sellouts at Rio Tinto Stadium, Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni has fielded 24 players in the injury-ridden first quarter of the year as the club lost almost 70 games in total to injuries, suspensions or international duties.
Real Salt Lake ended last season in dramatic fashion, securing their place in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs on decider day before advancing to the Western Conference Finals after a 14-14-6 record in the regular season. RSL will return home next Saturday, May 14 and host Austin FC to open a stretch that will see five of eight games played on the Wasatch front.