Is Lalo Fernandez going to Tigres?

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, a curious rumor popped up: Lalo Fernandez, Real Salt Lake’s third-string goalkeeper, was a target for Liga MX powerhouse Tigres.

A report from Univision — reliable sources for Liga MX news, at least — indicated that RSL would receive a near-six-figure transfer fee for Fernandez.

And while it was just a rumor, it sure looks like the 24-year-old, who signed with Real Salt Lake on a homegrown deal in February 2012 as a 19-year-old, might have just confirmed the rumor himself.

Yeah, that’s a photo of his passport, and he tagged Cris Barbosa of 911 Talent Management in the photo.

Of course, that’s not official confirmation or anything — we’ve reached out to the club for comment — but this photo sure throws a heaping can of gasoline on the once-slow-burn rumor fire.

What would that mean for Real Salt Lake? We’ll break that down further if the move comes to fruition, but here’s what we know so far.

Lalo Fernandez was not involved in last night’s Real Monarchs game against San Antonio Scorpions, with Connor Sparrow starting. That leaves us with some evidence that a transfer was planned, simply because it would have been no surprise to see him start that game.

Second-string keeper Matt VanOekel was still listed as questionable at last reckoning, but he may have recovered.

Fernandez, who RSL signed after a professional stint at Uruguayan club CA Peñarol, grew up in Texas but was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. He’s played at youth levels for both the United States and Mexico.

During his five-year career at Real Salt Lake, Fernandez played precisely one first-team match, and that came this year in the US Open Cup loss to Sacramento Republic. He never played in an MLS match. During three years of Real Monarchs being an entity, he was the first-choice goalkeeper, though he didn’t play when one of RSL’s other goalkeepers was injured or away on international duty.

So what’s next? Smart money could be on a player like Connor Sparrow getting a move to the first team in short order, although he’d certainly continue with Real Monarchs while RSL has two fit and available goalkeepers. It’ll have to be fast, whatever happens — the MLS roster freeze date is Sept. 15.


hard to pass up

Especially on a third string keeper. But I more saw him as our second string after how horrific the games were with VanOekel in goal, although they weren’t entirely his fault, those numbers are damning. We need to keep our eyes open and find a starting keeper for when Rimando finally retires. I always secretly hoped it was Lalo with how well he has done with RSL in the academy and Monarchs, but if the transfer fee is big, the benefits from that are impossible to pass up. Best of luck to him.

Great for everyone involved

Great move for Lalo, to a bigger club. Good for Tigres to get a player they like. Good for us to get a fee for someone who probably wasn’t in our long term plans anyway. Win-win-win.

Good for him and good for us.

He still hasn’t made the jump to starting level quality yet, but he has a few more years to prove that he can. I think we’re better off selling him and using that $$$ to buy Beckermans heir in the deep midfield


Was in the stands with what appeared to be his kids. It showed him having a fun time hanging out.

Question for RM fans

Hasn’t Sparrow been showing well this season? I thought I heard whisperings that he may be passing lalo up in the succession order…

Wouldn't surprise me.

He’s had a killer year, i think there’s a strong argument for him to get moved up.

He has another benefit

Which is his birth year. Sparrow was born in 1994, which means he’ll be eligible for the reserve roster next year. Makes it much easier to fit him into the first-team next year.

I tend to think Sparrow is the better player anyway. So there’s no real need to bring in a replacement – just bump Sparrow and Putna up on the depth chart, and wish Lalo the best of luck in Mexico.

Is sparrow still perfect

On his spot kick save percentage?

I think so

I think he’s faced 5 penalties, and he hasn’t conceded yet.

His distribution was a little off on Saturday, but it’s generally very strong as well.

Christian Herrera

Would be nice to see Christian Herrera back in a Monarchs uniform after spending the year on loan to Timbers 2.

View All Comments
Back to top ↑