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Real Salt Lake picks up Paulo Araujo Jr. from Miami FC on loan

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Paulo Araujo Jr. (courtesy of Miami FC)
Paulo Araujo Jr. (courtesy of Miami FC)

The official details are still being worked out but here is the statement from the Miami FC website:

Miami FC striker Paulo Jr. has been sent on loan to Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer this week after nearly two seasons with the Blues. Araujo Jr. will be available for selection for Real Salt Lake when the Utah side takes on Seattle Sounders FC this evening at Qwest Field (11:00 p.m. ET, live on ESPN2). Terms of the deal were not disclosed due to team policy.

and

"Miami FC and Traffic Sports are proud to have provided a developmental path for Paulo to grow as a player and to take his skills to the next level" Miami FC Director of Soccer Fernando Clavijo said. "He will be missed and we are thankful for the heart and effort he put into the organization during his time here."

In a quick look around the Miami website I found that Paulo was in his second year with the team and was their leader in goals (8) and assists (4), and they mention that he has "blistering speed".  

The second quote from the folks in Miami make it sound like they aren't expecting to see Paulo back, which means it may be a loan for now but one has to wonder if there are already talks going on between the two clubs to make this move permanent?

more on Paulo and why RSL may be brining him in now after the jump:

This move could mean a couple things for RSL, are they expecting the hamstring injury to Fabian Espindola to impact the team long term? One only has to look back at the same type of injury suffered by Ian Joy that took almost a full season before he was fit again, Edson Buddle took over a year before he was fully back to the player he was before his hamstring injury.  

I am not sure and have no "inside" information on the severity of Fabi's injury and I hope that it is a minor one and that we get him back quickly as he has been one of the most improved players this season for RSL.  He may not be scoring goals at the same goals per minute rate he did a couple years ago, but one can't deny that his energy and work rate both have been incredible for RSL this year and he has caused fits for defenders around the league.

It could also mean that the negotiations with Robbie Findley haven't been going as well as RSL would like and unlike last year when they saw Yura leave without having a solid replacement in hand?  With Robbie having a new agent (he fired the one he had shared with Yura after some leaks to the media), I haven't heard much talk about where the two sides stand on a new deal.  

I do think it would take "DP" type money to keep Robbie around, and unlike some fans who have questioned his abilities and effort this year.  I think Robbie is the real deal, he is a 10 goal a year guy who is a game changer with his speed and he was incredible for RSL last year in the playoffs, nobody would have a ring if it wasn't for the part he played for the team.  I for one would love to see Robbie sporting the RSL colors for 4 more years at least.

There is also the very real possibility that RSL's GM Garth Lagerwey simply saw a chance to pick up a solid player and do so on a loan.  We know that there are 11 matches in the next 6 weeks including CCL trips to Panama and Canada along with some tough MLS road matches and then the playoffs, having depth and a new striker hungry to get some minutes and unknown by opposing defenses could be a very good move for RSL.

Anyhow here is some info about Paulo:

Full Name: Paulo Morais de Araujo Junior
Position: Forward
Height: 5' 7'' Weight: 158 lbs.
Born: January 23, 1989 in Teresina, Brazil
Hometown: Teresina, Brazil
Citizenship: Brazil
College: N/A
MLS Experience: 1st Season
Last Club: Miami FC (2010)

Professional Career

2010: Miami FC (USSF Division II): Started in 18 of his 22 matches with Miami FC in League play, registering a team-high 8 goals and adding 4 assists across 1,675 minutes of action ... At the time of his departure, ranked in USSF D-2's top five with 20 points (3rd), 8 goals (T-4th), and 50 shots (5th) ... Also scored five times in three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup contests, his five goals ranking at the top of the competition's scoring chart heading into the Final (tied with Seattle's Nate Jaqua) ... Four of those goals came during a 10-minute span in added extra time in Miami FC's First Round 5-1 win over the Central Florida Kraze (PDL) on June 15 ... Also tallied the Blues' opener (2') a week later in the squad's 2-1 (AET) victory over fellow D-2 side Tampa Bay ... Started and went the full 90 minutes on June 29 at Houston Dynamo in a 0-1 Third Round defeat ... Re-signed with Miami on March 15 for its 2010 season.

2009: Miami FC (USL First Division):Notched three goals and three assists across 18 appearances in his first season with Miami ... Made his Blues debut on May 20 v. Charleston Battery, and scored his first USL goal a month later on June 20 vs. Cleveland City Stars 

2008: Ituano FC (Campeonato Brasileiro Série C): Began his professional career in 2008 with Ituano FC of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série C before signing with Miami FC in 2009.

OK, here is the official announcement:

SANDY, Utah (Thursday, September 9, 2010) - Real Salt Lake today announced the acquisition of FW Paulo Araujo Jr. via a loan deal with Miami FC of the USSF D-2 Pro League. The loan arrangement will keep the Brazilian striker, a member of the reigning MLS Cup champion through the remainder of its 2010 season, including the MLS Cup Playoffs. Paulo Jr. will be available for selection for Real Salt Lake when the Utah side takes on Seattle Sounders FC this evening at Qwest Field (9:00 p.m. MT, live on ESPN2/ESPN Deportes).

Paulo Jr. will occupy the last of Real Salt Lake's five available International player roster slots, joining the Argentinean trio of FW Fabian Espindola, MF Nelson Gonzalez, and MF Javier Morales; and Costa Rican FW Álvaro Saborío on the list.

"We are excited to add a forward like Paulo to give us as many options up top as possible as we push through our congested schedule of CONCACAF and League games at the end of our season," said RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey.

Paulo Jr. joins Real Salt Lake after notching four assists and scoring a team-high eight goals in 22 appearances (18 starts) in USSF D-2 Pro League play, which ranked him tied for fifth on the 12-team league's goal-scoring chart at the time of his departure. In addition, Paulo Jr. ranks as the co-leading scorer of the 2010 edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, his five goals in three games tying him with Nate Jaqua of tournament finalist Seattle Sounders FC for the competition's scoring lead.

The 21-year-old attacker - who will don "Paulo" on his RSL jersey in the tradition of Brazilian players - began his professional career with Campeonato Brasileiro Série C club Ituano in 2008 before signing with Miami FC in 2009. During his first season with the South Florida side last year, Paulo Jr. tallied three goals and three assists in 18 league matches in USL First Division play.

There you go, time to get ready for RSL at Seattle.

OFF MY SOAPBOX