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RSL: Selected in the second round (17th overall) of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft on 1/18/08
Tino Nuñez might have arrived at Real Salt Lake in 2008 with the lack of fanfare reserved for most Supplemental Draft picks, but the ex-UC Santa Barbara striker did have other things in tow that the RSL Technical Staff certainly picked up on - a championship pedigree and the willingness to prove his worth. The 24-year-old forward did just that during his first professional season, bagging five goals in Reserve Division play while also making nine appearances for the first-team, all consecutively during a stretch that happened to coincide with RSL's most successful run of the campaign, a 4-1-4 jaunt from late-May through July. The '06 College Cup champion as a member of the Gauchos made his first MLS goal stand tall, as his second half score against New England on June 21 would also count as his first game-winner, lifting RSL to a 2-1 win over a New England squad that, at the time, had the League's top record. With Real Salt Lake's forward corps undergoing some turnover in the offseason, Nuñez will again have the chance to prove his worth as the 2009 season approaches - but this time around he won't be an unknown commodity.
2008: Started in two of his nine League appearances during rookie season, tallying one goal … His nine appearances came consecutively from 5/31 v. SJ through 7/19 @ CHI, during which RSL compiled a 4-1-4 record … Finished T-2nd on RSL Reserves with 5G (w/ Cordoba) and T-1st with 12 GP (w/ Kirby & Reiman) while also making seven starts … Selected by RSL with the 17th overall pick (2nd Rd.) in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft on 1/24/08 … Made debut in an RSL uniform in MLS Reserve Division play on 4/06 @ CHV, playing the final 33 minutes of a season-opening 1-1 draw … Recorded an assist in his first-team debut on 4/30 v. SJ, helping on Williams' 90' closer in a 4-0 USOC Play-In victory … Notched an assist for RSL Reserves on 5/04 v. LA in a 5-2 win … Made first senior team start on 5/27 @ CLB and went 70 minutes in RSL's 0-2 USOC loss … Made MLS debut four days later on 5/31 v. SJ, playing the final 5 minutes in helping to close out RSL's 3-1 win … Recorded a goal and an assist for RSL Reserves on 6/01 v. SJ in a 4-0 win … Had a memorable night on 6/21 v. NE, playing a season-high 49 minutes in relief of inured FW Robbie Findley and scoring his first-ever MLS goal in the 60', which stood as the GWG in RSL's 2-1 victory over then MLS's top side … Scored the RSL Reserves' second goal in 5-3 win over the Houston Dynamo Reserves on 7/04 … Played the first half of RSL's 2008 XanGo Cup loss on 7/09 v. Santos Laguna … Notched an assist on RSL's lone goal in 2-1 international friendly loss on 7/23 v. Deportivo Saprissa …
Played three years at UC Santa Barbara after starring at Compton Community College for one season … Won an NCAA Men's College Cup with UCSB in 2006 and helped the Gauchos reach the '04 title match … Finished his UCSB career with eight goals and 11 assists in 63 games, including 34 starts … 2007: Started all 21 matches for the 13-4-4 Gauchos … His five goals and five assists placed him fourth on the UCSB scoring chart for the season …2006: Saw action in 19 matches (seven starts), including both games of the College Cup Final Four … Scored the game-winner against #7 University of Akron, marking his lone goal of the season … 2005: Missed the season while recovering from a torn ACL … 2004: Joined Gauchos prior to the season and immediately made an impact, finishing with two goals and six assists while helping his team reach the national title game … Appeared in 23 games with six starts … 2003: Enjoyed a standout season at Compton Community College, leading the team in scoring with 15 goals … Was named team MVP after the season.
Led his Millikan High School squad to four consecutive Moore League titles and one California Interscholastic Federation championship in four years … After recording 25 goals and 18 assists as a senior, was named First-Team All-Moore League, All-CIF, and the League's Offensive Player of the Year.
Son of Maria G. and Salvador Nunez and younger brother of Alex Nuñez