SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake is bring back another prolific goal scorer.
A week after re-signing Anderson Julio, RSL announced it has signed Jefferson Savarino to a 4-year deal through the 2025 season.
Savarino played for RSL from 2017-19, scoring 22 goals and serving up 21 assists. He spent the last two seasons playing in Brazil.
Savarino is working through visa issues, and is expected to arrive later this month as the Club’s newest Designated Player.
“My family and I have long anticipated a return to Utah,” Savarino said from his home in Venezuela. “We have great memories of the fans, the community, the stadium and of course my teammates. “I look forward to meeting Pablo Mastroeni in person and working with him and the entire staff, as my friend Damir [Kreilach] has shared with me wonderful things. I am grateful to Elliot, the new owners and everyone who helped make this move back to Real Salt Lake happen. I am focused on scoring goals and creating excitement and doing absolutely whatever it takes to bring trophies and success to Utah.”
“Bringing Jefferson back to Salt Lake has been an exciting process in recent months,” said RSL general manager Elliot Fall. “Obviously we have great memories of him here representing our badge, our colors, our community, and certainly sparking our attack. During his time in Brazil over the last couple years, Jefferson has matured as a player and as a person. We expect him to provide even more danger as a playmaking and finishing option for RSL, and look forward to him combining with so many pieces on the roster. Our Club could not be more elated to welcome Jefferson and his family back to Utah.”
Savarino spent three seasons with Real Salt Lake (2017-19) on loan and then on permanent transfer from Zulia FC, his home club in Venezuela, prior to being sold to Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro in February, 2020. Savarino scored 22 goals and added 21 assists in 87 games (83 starts) across MLS competitions during his previous stint on the Wasatch Front, ranking 10th amongst regular season RSL goal scorers (21) and sixth in assists (21). An attacking standout, Savarino led the 2018 team in game-winning goals (3), assists per game (0.34), shots (78), shots on goal (31), fouls suffered (70) and offside (18). Savarino led the 2019 RSL side in shots (79), shots on goal (37), and shots on goal percentage (46.8).
Upon arrival, Savarino will be reunited in Utah with several former RSL teammates, including Captain Damir Kreilach, Justen Glad & Aaron Herrera, centerback Marcelo Silva andEverton Luiz, amongst others.
During his two-and-a-half-year stint in Brazil, Savarino provided numerous critical goals for Mineiro, across various South American competitions – totalling 21 goals & 21 assists in 93 appearances.
Real Salt Lake also announced the signing of Swiss defender Chris Kablan, who had been playing in Belgium, on Wednesday.
“Bringing Chris to Salt Lake has been discussed for an extended period with both our technical group and the Blitzer football staff,” Fall said. “We are excited to see how he integrates with the group, his ambition to seize this opportunity, and his potential to provide further depth for our roster. During his time in Belgium, Chris has demonstrated versatility in both a back three and a back four, he can play anywhere across the line, wherever Pablo and the staff might need.”
Kablan, 27, joined Waasland-Beveren prior to the 2021 season, where he has appeared in 16 games across both 3-man and 4-man back lines. Prior to joining Waasland, Kablan began his professional career in his native Switzerland for Kriens, where he notched 11 goals in 98 appearances from 2013 to 2017. From 2017 to 2021, the defender played for FC Thun in both the Swiss Super League and the Swiss Challenge League, making 105 appearances and scoring eight goals.
“My arrival to RSL has been long-anticipated, I’ve heard that everything is well-placed for our success as a locker room and as a Club,” said Kablan. “The facilities are excellent, the staff is organized, I’m looking forward to getting to know my teammates, our fans and the community-at-large.”
Real Salt Lake next plays at Nashville Sunday at 3:00 p.m.