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Joao Plata signs multi-year contract extension, will be RSL’s third DP

The RSL attacker has signed on for more years in an important move for the club.

MLS: D.C. United at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake has agreed to terms on a contract extension with Joao Plata, and as a result, the player will occupy the third designated player slot on the team.

Plata, 24, joined Real Salt Lake in 2013 after the club traded with Toronto FC. He’s gone on to become one of the top goalscoring players at the club, with 30 regular season goals to his name.

In a club-issued press release, RSL general manager Craig Waibel described the timing as “perfect” for his extension.

“Any time you can make a long-term commitment between the player and the club on such a promising player with so much attacking ability, you never shy away from that opportunity. The timing was perfect to extend. He’s having a good time with RSL. He continues the mold we’ve created of solidifying a core group of players that can be here for a long time.”

On Jan. 24, when news of a contract extension came from Plata’s agent, RSL officials told us that Plata would not be a designated player. This contract extension — and it’s not perfectly clear if it’s the same one or not, or if it’s simply the finished state of an unfinished contract then — does make him a designated player.

That leaves RSL with three designated players: Albert Rusnak, Yura Movsisyan, and Joao Plata.