Real Salt Lake has announced the signing of journeyman Nigerian midfielder Stephen "Sunny" Obayan Sunday in a bid to strengthen their midfield ahead of the 2016 season.
In a press release, RSL general manager Craig Waibel said that Sunny is intended to be a day-one contributor to the team.
"Sunny challenges the status quo. He’s going to force the coaching staff to make tough decisions and fore players to perform at a higher level. He’s a quality player that we think can contribute right away when he adjusts to the play in America," Waibel said. "He’s really active, physically adept and technically sound. He covers a lot of space and adds to the quality of our midfield."
Sunny, 27, joins the Salt Lake side after a mixed career in middle-tier European leagues, with his most high-profile appearances coming near the beginning of his career at Valencia.
Sunny, who most recently played in Turkey for Alanyaspor, joins Real Salt Lake having had a European career that started in Valencia. The 27-year-old played at Spanish outfit Valencia, who sent him on loan to Osasuna, Real Betis, and CD Numancia while on contract.
While at Valencia, Sunny made two Champions League appearances in 2007, including a 90 minute appearance in a 0-0 draw against Chelsea. He also made 14 first-team appearances from 2007 to 2009.
Most of Sunny's first-team appearances came in the Spanish second division, with two 31-game seasons from 2011 to 2013. After that, he was sold to Bnei Sakhnin, where he played for only six months, making two appearances before moving to Bulgarian outfit CSKA Sofia in January 2014. With 36 appearances under his belt, just over a year later, he was moved to Turkish side Alanyaspor.