RSL Signs Homegrown Aaron Herrera To Long Term Contract Extension
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake signed defender Aaron Herrera to a long-term contract, keeping the RSL Academy product with the club for at least four more seasons.
Herrera, 22, was a bright spot for the Claret and Cobalt across the backline during his breakout 2019 season. Despite preferably playing the right-back position, Herrera also showcased his talents at left-back when the coach requested it.
During 2019, Herrera made 32 appearances logging 2,768 minutes. He only missed two games. During his only two seasons with the first team, Herrera has started 45 games from a possible 48 that includes starts in all five of RSL’s MLS Cup Playoff matches.
“It means a lot to sign with my childhood club. I’m proud to be playing with my teammates, for the coaching staff, and for the fans,” Herrera said. “It’s a good time for RSL and I feel like we have some unfinished business. I want to stay here and keep pushing this club to the limits with all the guys that are here and try to take this club to a new level.”
The right-back notched four assists during 2019 while also being awarded RSL’s Defensive Player of the Year voted by his teammates. Herrera played a big role in helping RSL average league-best, goals-against average over the final 19 games of the season.
“Aaron has proven himself not only a key part of what we are doing, but a top young player in MLS,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said. “We are thrilled to have him committed to RSL for another four years.”
A native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Herrera joined the RSL Academy back in 2011, when it was located solely in Arizona. After training for a year with the Academy, Herrera would further his education and professional soccer aspirations by attending the University of New Mexico for three years. During that stint, he totaled 7 goals and 8 assists in 54 matches, 53 of them as a starter.
Herrera has had success throughout his entire career. He was one of five RSL Academy products to compete for the U.S in the U-20 World Cup hosted by South Korea. During the World Cup campaign, Herrera and the U.S. made it to the quarterfinal before ultimately being eliminated by Venezuela after a 2-1 defeat.
“Aaron is a very good 1v1 defender and adds consistency. The team voted him Defensive Player of the Year. That speaks for itself,” RSL Head Coach Freddy Juarez said. “We’re always happy with a player that can provide that at a young age. He’s shown a lot of maturity and quality over the last two years and he helps steady our backline. He has a very high ceiling and we’re going to continue working with him to help him grow.”
2020 RSL Roster
Real Salt Lake’s current roster headed into 2020, listed alphabetically by position, is below:
Goalkeepers (2): David Ochoa, Andrew Putna
Defenders (5): Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Alvin Jones, Nedum Onuoha
Midfielders (7): Luis Arriaga, Nick Besler, Damir Kreilach, Everton Luiz, Justin Portillo, Pablo Ruiz, Albert Rusnák
Forwards (6): Corey Baird, Sam Johnson, Douglas Martinez, Jefferson Savarino, Tate Schmitt, Julian Vazquez