Without Nedum Onuoha in 2021, Real Salt Lake needed Marcelo Silva to step up, and he did. He started 20 matches for RSL and three more playoff matches, showing a steady (OK, sometimes recklessly forceful) presence on the back line, adding a veteran skill to the defense that saw many different variations in 2021.
Pablo Mastroeni did not have a three-person backline in mind with his technical scheme, however, RSL was forced into that a few times this season. At times, Silva seemed to be the lone center back. He rose to the occasion many times. In fact, he played a more controlled game with no red cards, and only two yellow cards on the season. He did commit 19 fouls, but who’s counting?
Silva joined RSL in 2017 and played nine games that year. While he has had stretches where he has been injured, and where there have been times that he does not seem to be on the same page with Justin Glad, we have been glad to have him. Always an exciting player to watch, Silva had some incredible stops and tackles in 2021, helping lead the team to the playoffs.
Marcelo has a contract through the 2022 season, and it will be interesting to see if he continues to be mainstay on the backline in 2022 leading to a new contract. On the transfer market, his current market value has declined since 2010, where it peaked at $1.1 million. He now sits at $330,000 according to Transfermarkt.com, so look for him to stay with the team throughout the 2022 season and possibly rejoin for 2023. He brings great value at that price.