Real Salt Lake has signed Uruguayan center back Marcelo Silva, 28, on a free transfer, according to a club-issued release.
Silva, a veteran of Spanish first and second division soccer, joins having played the last year at La Liga 2 side Real Zaragoza, where he played 35 matches over the course of his year at the club. Segunda División sides played 42 matches in the 2016–17 season.
Silva will not be eligible to play for Real Salt Lake until the transfer window opens on July 10; he will also need to wait for his P-1 visa to be approved and his International Transfer Certificate to be received. He was signed using targeted allocation money.
In a release, RSL general manager Craig Waibel said Silva was the right fit for the club.
"We have been looking to improve our defense, but wanted to find the right fit. In Marcelo, we found a solid center back, a leader and someone we think will really fit into our locker room – which was an important aspect to our search,” he said. "He is a savvy veteran from Europe who has a strong desire to come to RSL and help us build something special."
Silva, quoted in the release, cited the growth of MLS as one of the reasons he made the decision to move from Spain to MLS.
"MLS has improved a lot in these past few years. I believe it is a league where I can continue to grow as player and as a professional," Silva said. "I think I made the right decision to come here because the teams in the league are growing a lot and I think that will allow me to keep improving professionally."
The last two seasons for Silva have seen him step into a prominent role for the two teams he played for, Real Zaragoza and Real Valladolid. In the 2014–15 season, he helped guide Las Palmas to promotion to La Liga, and in 2012–13, he helped UD Almeira up as well.
Silva started his professional career at Uruguayan side Danubio FC in 2008; he also played a short spell for CA Peñarol in a three-month loan in early 2012.
Silva, who has never proved particularly goal-dangerous, has 12 goals in 191 professional appearances listed on WhoScored. While it’s difficult to find highlights for those goals, arguably the best one is this one, embedded below.