Trinidadian national team defender Marlon Rojas joins Real Salt Lake
SALT LAKE CITY - Real Salt Lake, Major League Soccer's 12th team, officially acquired Trinidadian National Team defender/midfielder Marlon Rojas, announced RSL General Manager Steve Pastorino and Head Coach John Ellinger today. The senior international is slated to join his new teammates in Monte Gordo, Portugal tomorrow.
"This is definitely great news for me as I have been looking forward to joining MLS since playing collegiate soccer in the United States," Rojas said. "I expect to make a good impression once I join up with the team in Portugal. This is a great opportunity to establish myself in MLS."
Rojas has contributed to with the Trinidad & Tobago National Team programs since he was 14 years-old. In 1999, he made his international debut against Panama while the Arima, Trinidad native made his senior team debut on May 23, 2004. The 25-year-old is an energetic flank player who has good speed and works hard for 90 minutes according to experts. The Trinidadian played with Police FC in Trinidad &Tobago before moving to St John's University in 2000 where he played collegiate soccer.
In 2001, he continued his collegiate soccer at the University of Tampa where he earned his degree in Criminology. He enjoyed had a stint with D.C. United in 2004, going on a preseason tour to Mexico. Rojas played for the U-23 Team, and has become a regular on the Trinidad & Tobago National Team, as a senior making a valuable contribution to the senior team's effort to advance to Germany 2006 with five first and second round appearances, including a solid effort versus the U.S. last month.
"Marlon Rojas is a very experienced international player and I've been impressed with his performance in World Cup Qualifying," Ellinger said. "As a coaching staff, we are excited for him to join us and expect him to start on the left side of our midfield."
Recently, the dynamic defender held is own against the likes of former Chicago Fire midfielder Damarcus Beasley and current FC Dallas forward Eddie Johnson in the U.S. - Trinidad &Tobago World Cup Qualifier on Feb. 9 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. The U.S. made another stride forward with a 2-1 victory over Trinidad & Tobago, but Rojas' efforts in the game was cause for great excitement for RSL General Manager Pastorino.
"Anyone who saw Marlon Rojas in the World Cup Qualifier against the U.S. can see that he holds his own at the highest level of competition," Pastorino said. "It was a long process to get him here, and we are excited to finally have him."
PRESEASON UPDATE: RSL's exhibition game on Tuesday, March 8 against Olhanense, of the Portuguese Second Division, has been cancelled. Real is now scheduled to play Recreativa Huelva, who currently sit No. 2 in the Spanish Second Division.
JERSEY LAUNCH: RSL and adidas are joining together to announce the unveiling of Real Salt Lake's official 2005 jersey on Saturday, March 12 at 6:00 p.m. The jersey launch will take place at the Town Lift Plaza in downtown Park City, located at 825 Main Street just north of Heber Ave. Be the first to see the new Real Salt Lake jersey, the same ones the players will be wearing on the field during the club's inaugural season. For more information go to the community section of RealSaltLake.com.
THREE FOR ALL: Real Salt Lake, and Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation in cooperation with Utah Youth Soccer Association (UYSA) present the first annual "Three for All" 3v3 Soccer Fest. Boys and girls ages 7-15 are invited and encouraged to register. The tournament will be held on the University of Utah campus at Spence Eccles Fieldhouse, located at 550 South Guardsman Way (1580 east) on Saturday, March 5. The state-of-the art field-turf facility allows players to wear cleats or indoor shoes. For more information go to the community section of RealSaltLake.com.
Real Salt Lake season ticket packages for the inaugural 2005 season at Rice-Eccles Stadium are now on sale. The RSL 2005 season ticket package features 21 games, including all 16 MLS regular season games, four special bonus games and the U.S.-Costa Rica World Cup Qualifier on June 4. Real Salt Lake's season ticket pricing consists of a Youth (15 and younger) and an Adult in four price levels. Prices for the 2005 season ticket packages are $200 adult ($180 youth) for the North Goal, $300 adult ($240 youth) for the Corner Flag, $400 ($320 youth) for East Sideline and $500 ($400 youth) for VIP seats. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the RSL Ticket Office at 515 South 700 East, #2R, SLC, UT 84102, by logging onto www.RealSaltLake.com or by contacting the Real Salt Lake Ticket Office at (866) 9-SOCCER.
Real fans can now receive up-to-date information on the team by signing up for the RSL Weekly Newsletter at the fan section of RealSaltLake.com.