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2019 RSL Player Profiles: Aaron Herrera

It was a breakout season for the RSL Academy alum.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

RSL’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year had an incredible season in Claret and Cobalt and firmly beat out strong competition for that designation. RSL had one of the strongest defensive showings for any MLS team in 2019, and Herrera was our standout. That’s a huge honor for the 22-year-old and rightly earned.

Herrera started thirty-one of his thirty-two regular season appearances and tallied four assists for RSL. He was also called into Jason Kreis’s October U-23 camp and was part of the roster for November’s United International Football Festival in the Canary Islands.

What’s most exciting about Herrera’s play is his ability to make an impact in both attack and defense. He’s a strong presence in the attacking third, giving RSL greater and varied attacking options.

He has a high bar to clear in the spot vacated by RSL legend Tony Beltran. So far he’s made it his own. Herrera is the future of outside back with his strong attacking mindset. It’s what the current game demands. If he can continue to develop that and advance his defensive game to Beltran’s level, he has the capacity to become RSL’s best all-time outside back. It’s a huge challenge, but if Herrera continues along his current trajectory, it’s an achievable mark.

I would expect nothing less than improvement and continued success for Herrera. As with most young(ish) players, I also assume he has dreams of playing in the top flights of European soccer. Expect international scouts to be eyeballing Herrera. Is his ceiling high enough (and our front office smart enough) to garner a hefty transfer fee for him in the future? Will he remain with RSL and continue to make the case for top team honors? Does he have what it takes to push himself to even greater sporting success? To the last question I think so, but he’s going to have to continue to prove himself.

Herrera is one of the most exciting elements of RSL moving into the 2020 season. He has shown himself to be a massive asset both in attack and defense. Here’s to hoping for an even stronger 2020 performance from him.