Update, Thursday, Jan. 16: Some have suggested that Extra mistakenly included Joao Plata when Joao Rojas, who does play for Emelec. On the surface, this appears to be the right read. We’ll keep paying attention to Plata rumors, but we have also updated the headline to reflect the information.
The future of Joao Plata appears to be a bit more clear now, with reports emerging from Ecuador outlet Extra that once-RSL attacker has been training with S.C. Emelec.
Plata, 27, spent the last seven seasons at RSL, having started in 2013 under Jason Kreis’s tutelage. He went on to play consistent regular minutes until 2019, when he was dropped by then-RSL coach Mike Petke. His minutes somewhat recovered under Freddy Juarez during his spell as interim coach.
Rumors had placed Plata as leaving RSL consistently in 2018 and 2019, with links to Mexican and Ecuadorian sides being prevalent. No move materialized, and Plata’s option was declined following the season.
It’s unclear whether Real Salt Lake made a further effort to retain him despite declining an option.
Whatever the case, this would leave Plata as free to sign outside Major League Soccer, and a move to Emelec seems like it would be a solid one for the forward.
We’ll keep listening for news on this one; it appears Emelec has deployed him as an attacking midfielder in early reports, so that will be of some interest to those who have followed Plata throughout his career.