The news around Joao Plata today has been — shall we say — mixed. It was revealed by Real Salt Lake today that Plata suffered a fifth-metatarsal fracture, and that could see him miss three to four months of action.
But in decidedly more positive news, the club also confirmed that he's signed a new contract — one that will make him a Young Designated Player because of acquisition cost, according to a club-issued press release.
It's difficult to say who has stepped down from a designated player spot this season, given current roster rules (subject to change, certainly, especially given the probability that a new collective bargaining agreement might demand it) allow only three designated players per team. Real Salt Lake's were, at last count, Alvaro Saborio, Javier Morales, and Sebastian Jaime.
In the press release announcing Plata's imminent surgery and new deal, RSL technical director Craig Waibel commended Plata for his form since joining Real Salt Lake.
"Kudos to club ownership for making the commitment to a young player in Joao Plata who has proven himself as an exciting, dynamic offensive threat for RSL," Waibel said. "Plata has earned this, to have the multiple parties involved in his player pass be eliminated and the security of knowing that this club, Real Salt Lake, is his home, now and for the foreseeable future."
Plata, 22, probably won't be buoyed too much by the signing of the contract, given the significance of the injury. He suffered the injury during a "non-contact change-of-direction on artificial turf" during Sunday's open training session at Soccer City in Draper, Utah.