Diogo de Almeida
RSL: Selected in the second round (24th overall) of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft on 1/12/12
Real Salt Lake’s search for a naturally left-footed fit on its back line may very well have come to an end with its selection of SMU product Diogo de Almeida back in January. While other outside back options were on the board towards the start of the second round, RSL was enamored with the athletic de Almeida’s size and speed, not to mention his technical ability, which was no surprise after his progression from forward to midfielder to defender during his first three years with the Mustangs. While RSL will not expect the 23-year-old to fill in minutes right away, the Brazilian’s progress throughout the year will prove vital to the planned wing-back rotation system that could prove crucial to the Utah side’s late-season success.
Collegiate Stats at SMU
Career Highlights/Accolades: Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year; All-Conference USA First Team and NSCAA All-Midwest First Team performer as a senior in 2011 … Versatile athlete moved from midfielder to defender between his sophomore and junior campaigns, this after he began his collegiate career at forward as a freshman … After starting his youth career in the U.S. in the FC Dallas youth system, moved on to play for the Dallas Texans ’90 … While growing up in Brazil, grew up in the youth system of Sao Paulo FC alongside former MLS performers Juninho (LA Galaxy), Alex Cazumba (Galaxy) and Jackson (FC Dallas)
Misc: Moved to the United States from Brazil in 2007 for the last half of his junior year at Oakridge H.S. in Arlington, Texas … Speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish … Majored in Markets Culture and Spanish at SMU …