Real Salt Lake has officially completed the signing of Real Monarchs forward Emery Welshman, marking the first addition of a player from the USL side to the first team.
Welshman, 24, joins having scored six goals in his debut season for Real Monarchs across 19 appearances. His six was the second-highest return for a Monarchs player in 2015.
The Guyanese-Canadian striker was drafted by Toronto FC in 2013, but he made only one appearance before being released in February 2014. He then played with Canadian semi-pro side Sigma FC before joining RSL's development Monarchs team.
In a press release, RSL general manager Craig Waibel described Welshman's move as indicative of the environment the Monarchs provided.
"We view the Monarchs as an in-house development system and take great pride in announcing Emery as the first player to move through our system and into the first team," Waibel said. "The environment that Coach Freddy Juarez and his staff have created challenges young players to mature and improve on a daily basis with the end goal of having a shot at the first team roster.
"Emery deserves a lot of credit as he did everything asked of him over the past year. He matured and accepted the challenges given to him by the staff and in the end persevered to end the season on a very strong run," Waibel said. "We are extremely happy for Emery to be the first player to take advantage of his opportunities and look forward to his contributions with the first team in 2016."
Welshman joins officially only a day after Argentine forward Sebastian Jaime left the club for Chile, and while this move wasn't in reaction to that — it's been in the works since the end of the Monarchs season — it does help the team fill a gap in their attack.