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Report: Sam Johnson officially joining RSL as designated player

The move gives RSL a much-needed boost at forward.

Manchester United v Real Salt Lake Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

Update: RSL has confirmed the deal; Johnson will join as a designated player.

If official club websites are a thing to be believed — and generally, they are, although I’m sure there have been one or two notable circumstances where that’s not the case — the move taking Sam Johnson to Real Salt Lake is official.

That’s from Vålerenga Fotball, who posted on their website today that Johnson is moving to Real Salt Lake, with the two clubs agreeing a deal. The move, they say, is official today, with Johnson passing a medical at RSL.

Translated from that report is some detail:

- Sam was good for us last season and it has been noticed out there. You never want to sell their top scorer, but when the offer came to the table neither he nor we as a club could say no, he says and continues:

- We are very pleased with the deal made with Real Salt Lake and can do nothing but wish Sam all the best in MLS.

We await further detail from Real Salt Lake on this matter, but it sure sounds like this is a done deal.

We first reported on Johnson’s move on Jan. 11.

In a club-issued release, Johnson said:

“I’m ready for a new challenge in MLS. A lot of clubs came for me, but Real Salt Lake put more effort than the other clubs. I spoke with my advisor, I spoke with mom and some people who follow MLS closely and it was an easy decision for me,” Johnson said. “I feel like I can showcase myself in one of the biggest leagues in the world. I’m excited to be here and I look forward to playing for the fans in Salt Lake City.”


“I am happy to welcome Sam to the RSL family. It will be good to get him integrated with the players and staff and up to speed on how we play,” Head Coach Mike Petke said. “The addition of Sam will provide us with a strong option up front and will certainly create further competition on an already deep roster.”


“We are excited to add a player of Sam’s quality to our attack. He adds a new dynamic to our front line and he is a great fit for our locker room and his work rate is a great representation of our club and its fans,” RSL General Manager Craig Waibel said. “He is the type of player that fits the vision that we have of defining our roster with a core of young players that can help challenge for great things in our league.”