Real Salt Lake Signs Croatian Center Back Toni Datković

Jun 2, 2021, 10:08 AM | Updated: 10:19 am

toni datovic header...

Landry Dimata of RCD Espanyol challenges for the ball against Toni Datkovic of FC Cartagena during the Liga Smartbank match betwen RCD Espanyol de Barcelona and Cartagena at RCDE Stadium on May 14, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

(Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake has bolstered its center-back depth with the signing of Toni Datković, the club announced.

Datković, 27, fills a need for RSL as he will add much-needed depth to the position. Currently, RSL’s starting center backs are Justen Glad and Marcelo Silva. Erik Holt is the backup for when an injury hits or tired legs creep in. Datković will compete for a starting role but his signing now allows Manager Freddy Juarez to rest his center backs when he feels the need to do so. Prior, Juarez did not have that luxury.

“Toni is an excellent addition to our defensive core,” RSL General Manager Elliot Fall said.  “He will provide another experienced, athletic option to our roster.  We can’t wait to get him on the ground in Salt Lake and acclimated with the group.”

Recently, Datković was with Greek side Aris but on loan with Spanish club Cartagena. His career began in 2012 when he signed his first professional contract with Rijeka. In 2014, he made the move to Slovenia where he played for a number of years.

“We want to welcome Toni to the team and bring him into a good crop of center backs.  We think he can continue to help us grow and push the team further and fits the profile of our roster as a positive and humble player,” RSL Head Coach Freddy Juarez said.  “He comes with a good pedigree and is a talented left-footed center back that can help us in distribution but also raise the quality of defending.  Anytime we can add players that can help us grow in our style of play and push competition in our team, it’s a good thing.”

His career has been filled with stints in Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, and Spain. Over the past nine years, he has played for eight clubs which include three loan spells.

Datković is friends with current RSL playmaker Damir Kreilach. They both played for Rijeka during the years 2012-13. Datković becomes the second player this offseason to have previously played alongside Kreilach, he joins Bobby Wood as the other player.



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Real Salt Lake Signs Croatian Center Back Toni Datković