Javier Morales has re-signed with Real Salt Lake for a 10th year, saying that he wants to end his career in Salt Lake City.
The announcement came somewhat out of the blue from a club-issued press release, and it's apparently a multi-year deal.
Morales, who turns 36 in January, may not be getting any younger, but he's stayed more or less injury-free after suffering a broken ankle in May 2011.
There had been question marks about Morales returning, given he was out of contract, but he publicly indicated his desire to stay, and that's what happened. Now, he says he wants to end his career in Salt Lake City.
"I want to finish my career here with Real Salt Lake," Morales said in the press release. "Real Salt Lake is the most important team in my life. It’s the team that didn’t just make me a better player. The club made me a better person. I came here and it was magic. Everything changed and everything was good for me and my family."
Waibel said that Morales's desire to stay is reflective of his relationship with the club.
"It's an amazing accomplishment for this community that Javier wanted to stay and be a part of it," Waibel said in an interview on ESPN 700. "He wanted to end his career here. It's really an amazing statement by a great player."
In the press release, Waibel emphasized the importance Javier Morales plays to the team, calling him a key part of the team's identity.
"Every organization clamors and talks about identity," Waibel said. "Keeping guys like Javier here who understand what this club has been through is important to that identity because for 10 years Javi has helped establish this club and build a stadium and build a fanbase and identify with that fanbase. He really encompasses everything we are."