Real Salt Lake Signs Two Homegrown Players
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake announced that they have signed forward Tate Schmitt and defender Erik Holt.
They will be the club’s 20th and 21st Homegrown signings. Both players will join RSL’s roster for the 2019 season, the roster now has 26 players.
“We know that Tate and Erik are players that would be first round selections if they entered the draft. Having the ability to sign both as RSL Academy graduates is another step in following our youth development philosophy while giving both the ability to develop into first team players over time,” RSL general manager Craig Waibel said. “They both had remarkable college careers and we are excited about what the future holds for them here at the club.”
Schmitt, 21, played his junior and senior seasons with the Real Salt Lake Academy in Arizona, where he helped the club to U-17/18 national runner-up finishes in 2014 and 2015. During his freshman season at Louisville, Schmitt led the team with seven goals before scoring at least five goals in the last three years with the Cardinals. The Phoenix native had five goals in 19 appearances for Louisville.
He was named to the All-ACC First Team in 2018 while earning United Soccer Coaches All-South Region First Team. Schmitt was also awarded the 2018 ACC Championship Tournament MVP, ending his collegiate career ranked fourth in school history in points with 69 and sixth in career goals with 26.
Schmitt was a two-time All-ACC honoree and an ACC All-Freshman Team member during his career where he scored 11 game-winning goals in his four seasons with Louisville, including four in the NCAA Championship Tournament.
“I’m very excited to have signed my first professional contract with Real Salt Lake and it’s a very proud moment for myself and my family,” Schmitt said. “I’m very fortunate that I came into the RSL organization as a 16-year-old and developed the foundation to learn and grow as a young player at a high level. To be able to build relationships with some of the guys currently playing with RSL at the Academy really inspired me and motivated me to reach the professional game.”
Holt, 22, competed for the RSL Academy in Arizona where he help the team earn the nation’s best record in 2015. He is considered one of the nation’s top recruits, spending four years at UCLA where he appeared in 71 matches, including 61 starts. At centerback, Holt scored one goal in his time with the Bruins and added five assists. The San Diego, California native was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team during his junior season in 2017 and senior campaign in 2018 after leading UCLA to the NCAA tournament in all four seasons.
Holt has previously spent time with the U.S. Under-17 National Team and has been called up to Real Salt Lake for MLS Reserve matches.
“It’s been a really exciting experience to be able to fulfill the dream of becoming a professional soccer player,” Holt said. “I started with RSL in Casa Grande, Arizona and it’s been an incredible experience to be able to play at one of the best academies in the country then move onto UCLA. Now to be back with RSL at the professional level is incredible. I can’t wait to get started.”
Real Salt Lake had the most minutes played by Homegrown players in Major League Soccer in 2018, with RSL Academy products logging 10,826 regular season minutes.
Schmitt and Holt, join the growing list of RSL Academy products on the current roster which stands at 12 along with GK David Ochoa, DF Justen Glad, DF Aaron Herrera, DF Brooks Lennon, FW Sebastian Saucedo, DF Donny Toia, FWLuis Arriaga, FW Corey Baird, FW Jordan Allen, and FW Julian Vazquez. Other former Homegrown signings include Nico Muniz, Lalo Fernandez, Jose Hernandez, Benji Lopez, Phanuel Kavita, Fito Ovalle, Ricardo Velazco and Danilo Acosta, who is currently on loan for the 2019 season to Orlando City SC.
Excellent signings. Looking forward to working with Erik and Tate https://t.co/UmmninpN3F
— @petkemike (@petkemike) January 3, 2019
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