Bobby Wood Signs With Real Salt Lake, Expected To Join Club On July 1
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It is now official, after months of circulating rumors, USA international and prolific goalscorer Bobby Wood will play for Real Salt Lake in 2021 after signing with the club today. He will arrive in Utah on July 1st after his contract with current club Hamburger SV expires.
Wood, 28, has spent the previous 14 years in Germany after leaving his family in California at the age of 14 in 2007. Since then, he has played for five clubs amassing 225 games and scoring 45 goals.
“From the gut feeling I had after I talked with RSL, it was just, it just felt right. Um, you know, I could have stayed in Europe, but it just felt right to, you know, change something up and you know, just have a new challenge and stuff like that. It honestly just felt right, it felt like the right move,” Wood told KSL Sports in an exclusive interview.
Wood has represented the United States on 45 occasions and has scored 13 goals for his country. In Fact, Wood has already played at Rio Tinto Stadium, his lone visit to Salt Lake City occurred in 2017 when the USA played Venezuela in a friendly that ended in a 1-1 draw. It was the same game that former RSL winger Jefferson Savarino debuted for his country coming off the bench in the 72nd minute.
Furthermore, Wood has only been able to spend a few months a year during the summertime with his family. He has three brothers and a sister who still lives on the islands of Hawaii, his mother lives with his other sister in California. Fortunately, flights from Salt Lake City are easily accessible when attempting to fly to either California or Hawaii.
Home Is Calling
“That feeling of being able to come back home is going to be amazing,” Wood said. “And it’s exciting to be able to have a new challenge, to learn how the MLS is, how their type of soccer is gonna challenge me. It’s exciting to kind of learn more about myself and the league. Adapting my play and trying to be as successful as possible.”
Months ago, when the rumors began emerging that Wood will sign with RSL, the fanbase erupted with excitement. Wood is a high-caliber player who has performed against the world’s best for over a decade. He is a recognizable name in USA soccer and will likely provide many young soccer admirers with the joy of watching him perform.
But maybe the most exciting trait of Wood’s is his mentality. It is rare that a player of his profile still has the determination and hunger to put in the work every day to find and reach success.
“Real salt lake felt right because the club always felt like a hard-working, grounded, club and it’s something that I always have based my game off. Trying to work hard, and I’m excited to try to bring that back alive. I guess you could say through the hard times, and you know as a team I think to be successful that’s the most important thing. We succeed as a team, all 11 players on the field just kind of grind our way through and get the win,” Wood added.
Over the course of Manager Freddy Juarez’s career thus far, he has spoken about the daily grind and struggles that players face in order to get the most out of themselves. Juarez is a firm believer that players must practice like they are playing a game.
Wood’s pedigree and mental strength go hand-in-hand with the vision in which Juarez foresees for the club.
His arrival will likely provide a moment of relief for Juarez and the Front Office who are doing everything they can to bring success back to this once-proud organization.