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Official: Giuseppe Rossi joins Real Salt Lake

The Italian-American is officially an RSL player.

Genoa CFC v Spal - Serie A Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

Giuseppe Rossi is officially a Real Salt Lake player.

Rossi, 33, joins Real Salt Lake after a year-and-a-half without a club.

They’re words you simply didn’t expect to read any time soon. Giuseppe Rossi was long one of those forwards journeying across European soccer that was just below the top tier of attacking players.

He’s since struggled with injuries through his career, which led him to this point. During the no-contract interim, Rossi trained with Villareal and Manchester United, among other clubs.

Rossi joins RSL on a contract of unspecified length.

From a club-issued release, Rossi:

“It feels great to now be a part of Real Salt Lake. I can’t wait to step onto the pitch and help RSL achieve all the goals we’ve set this year. For me, MLS has been growing every year and has produced an exciting product. I’m lucky enough to have RSL be my first contact in the league during this process. The club’s respect and kindness towards me is something I appreciate immensely. I can’t wait to see and meet the fans and immerse myself in the RSL culture. Along with the rest of the team, I can’t wait to begin this season and enjoy the journey together.”

And RSL general manager Elliot Fall:

“Giuseppe’s resume speaks for itself. He brings an impressive level of international experience to an already talented and cohesive roster. Watching him in preseason it’s clear he has a lot to offer to our club. He has handled himself immaculately off the field and has fit in seamlessly with the group and has already served as a mentor for the young guys on our team.”

Finally, RSL coach Freddy Juarez:

“It’s amazing to have a player of his skills in and around the guys. It’s a guy that can change the game at any given moment and he’s seen it all and done it all so he gives the team confidence. Beyond his skills, he takes the time to talk and spend time with the young guys. It goes a long way when your peers can lead you and hold high standards.”

It’s distinctly possible that Rossi will step into Real Salt Lake’s starting lineup. Forward Sam Johnson underwent a surgery in the off-season and did not participate in preseason matches, and Corey Baird has been somewhat conspicuously absent.