Lalo Fernandez, Real Salt Lake’s longest-tenured homegrown player, has left the club following a transfer to Tigres.
Fernandez, 24, joined the club in 2012 following a short stint at CD Peñarol in Uruguay. He was a standout at RSL’s Arizona-based academy, during which time he featured regularly for U.S. and Mexico youth national teams.
In an RSL-issued press release, Fernandez praised the organization’s treatment of his transfer and his tenure at the club.
Real Salt Lake is home. It will always be my home. I was here for six years and gave everything I could and the club was the same for me. They were always behind me and supporting me. I could not be more thankful to the club and the whole organization. To be in the eye of a big club like Tigres is an honor by itself. For them to be interested in me is what you play for and it's an opportunity that I have to take. I want to thank Craig Waibel, Rob Zarkos, Elliot Fall and Dell Loy Hansen for the way they handled the negotiation to help make this a smooth transition. It's so important to know that they are looking out for the best interests of the players.
RSL general manager Craig Waibel was full of praise for Fernandez, too.
We are extremely proud of the way Lalo has progressed during his time at RSL and we are excited for him to have an opportunity to continue to play games and grow at a club like Tigres. He has been a professional in every sense of the word and we hope he can come back to RSL at some point in the future.
It’s likely that RSL will seek to sign a free agent goalkeeper, perhaps from Real Monarchs, in a bid to provide cover for goalkeepers Nick Rimando and Matt VanOekel.