SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – The David Ochoa saga has come to a end.
Real Salt Lake has traded its disgruntled goalkeeper to D.C. United for $75,000 in allocation money.
Ochoa started 25 games in goal for RSL in 2021, but has yet to see the field this season after losing the starting job to Zac MacMath.
“I think it’s a great situation for David to continue progressing in his career” said RSL head coach Pablo Mastroeni. “So I think it’s a win for everyone. Rarely in pro sports does everyone come out of the situation happy about it. He wasn’t getting any playing time here. The fact that he’s going to D.C. with a real opportunity to play, I think is a great situation for David.”
Because Ochoa is in the final year of his contract, United would pay a portion of the allocation money right away and the full balance only if Ochoa signs a new contract with D.C. United.
If he does not sign with D.C. United at the end of the season, Ochoa seems likely to pursue opportunities abroad. Clubs in Europe and Mexico have shown interest in the 21-year-old goalkeeper.
Ochoa, a homegrown talent, was sidelined early in the season with quadriceps and hand injuries, but since then Ochoa has been absent for what Real Salt Lake has called personal reasons.
Just last year, Ochoa seemed to be RSL’s long-term solution at goalkeeper ever since the great Nick Rimando retired as the league’s all-time winningest goalie. He recorded five shutouts during the season, and made a couple of game-winning penalty kick saves in a playoff game against Seattle as RSL advanced to the Western Conference Final.
This season, Ochoa has made several appearances for the Real Monarchs of the USL, but has only appeared in one U.S. Open Cup match with Real Salt Lake.
“Everyone at RSL should thank David for his years of exceptional service at the Academy, for the Monarchs, and for the first team,” said Real Salt Lake General Manager Elliot Fall. “David has been a critical figure in our postseason run last year, in the Monarchs 2019 USL title and throughout his youth career here. We wish him all the best at D.C. United and in his future endeavors, and we will always consider him part of the RSL Family.”
Real Salt Lake (9-7-6) currently sits in fourth place in the Western Conference standings headed into Saturday’s showdown at San Jose.