Real Salt Lake homegrown player Chris Garcia, who has impressed in consecutive preseason spells, has been sent on loan to Swedish second-division side Ljungskile SK, according to a club-issued report.
The move is perhaps not particularly surprising: It underscores a budding philosophy for the club, with echoes of Pablo Ruiz and Andrew Brody — both of whom went to third-division Austrian side FC Pinzgau Saalfelden.
Injuries have sidelined Garcia to this point, with 2020 being largely a wash. He made one appearance for RSL — a stoppage-time appearance at Rio Tinto Stadium in a 2-1 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps in September.
RSL technical director Kurt Schmid:
“Growth and development is an important part of our structure and this is a great opportunity for Chris to develop and mature. We have seen success with this model with Andrew Brody and Pablo Ruiz in Austria and plan to continue to leverage our relationships with clubs abroad to provide our players with these opportunities.”
It will be interesting to see how Garcia’s career progresses from this point. As an 18-year-old forward, minutes may be hard to come by in MLS. We’ll be eagerly watching Garcia’s progression, given he’s a player that has shown significant promise for the club.