Jefferson Savarino will wear the number 7 on the back of his shirt, continuing a trend of wingers being given that number.
When he signed with Real Salt Lake in 2014, Jordan Allen was given that number. So, too, was Juan Manuel Martinez, who supplanted Allen’s wearing of that number. Allen moved to wearing number 70, which he still wears.
Welcome to the Family, Jefferson! https://t.co/xmAPlzG2Ns pic.twitter.com/hVwsFsGCMR— Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) May 9, 2017
Before Allen, Lovel Palmer wore it; and before him, Fabian Espindola — who was neither a winger nor a forward explicitly during his RSL time — wore the number.
As you‘d expect, Joao Plata’s salary budget impact was bought down with targeted allocation money, which enabled Real Salt Lake to bring in Savarino as a young designated player.
It might be tempting to read into the implications of that, but this was likely the plan long before any public issues cropped up with Plata.
Finally, RSL head scout Andy Williams did a Q&A with RSL.com, in which he talked about the sort of player Savarino is, and why they targeted him. It’s worth a read.
How comfortable he is with the ball. Yes, he’s small, but he plays kind of big. He plays sometimes as a second forward, holds up the ball well. He’s a very good shooter – hits the target a lot. That’s why he’s been scoring a lot the last few years. He uses both feet and he’s just a creative force on the field.
General manager Craig Waibel told The Salt Lake Tribune that Savarino wasn’t being brought in to just be a bench player.
"This isn't a guy we're just bringing here to plug a hole or find out if he can do it," Waibel said. "There's no reason to shy away from the fact that he needs to understand that he's coming here to be important, not just be a cog in the wheel."