Real Salt Lake Signs Free Agent Defender Johan Kappelhof

Feb 18, 2022, 2:39 PM
Johan Kappelhof...
Chicago Fire defender Johan Kappelhof (4) dribbles the ball in action during a game between the Chicago Fire and the Orlando City on July 7, 2021, at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake announced that they have signed free agent defender Johan Kappelhof to a one-year contract with a club option for 2023.

Johan Kappelhof joins Real Salt Lake after most recently playing for Chicago Fire FC from 2016-21. While in Chicago, Kappelhof appeared in 147 games in six years, including 140 starts during the regular season.

As a center back, Kappelhof had 10 assists and was named an MLS All-Star in 2017. He is only the second Dutch player in RSL’s history and the first since 2009. The first Dutch player to sign with Real Salt Lake was Rachid El Khalifi, who helped the club win the MLS Cup.

“We’re excited to welcome Johan to Real Salt Lake,” RSL Technical Director Kurt Schmid said. “Johan’s experience in Major League Soccer speaks for itself and adds value to our roster. His veteran presence and understanding of what it takes to compete in this league will only enhance the competition within our roster, specifically our back line.”

Kappelhof started his professional soccer career in 2011 in the Netherlands with FC Gronigen, where he scored three goals in 123 appearances. He represented The Netherlands with their U21 team from 2011-13, which includes an appearance in the 2011 UEFA European U21 Championships.

“I’m very thankful for this new opportunity in my career,” Kappelhof said “I’m proud to be a part of this club and even more excited to fight for this team and to play in front of our fans in Utah.”

RSL will start the 2022 season on the road against Houston Dynamo FC on Sunday, February 27. Their home opener at Rio Tinto Stadium will be on Saturday, March 5 against Seattle Sounders FC.

Every match this season will be streamed on, the KSL Sports app and the KSL TV app.

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