Another Real Salt Lake veteran is on his way out.
On a Monday that saw longtime RSL starters Fabián Espíndola and Jámison Olave dealt to the New York Red Bulls in exchange for allocation money, the club also traded Canadian international midfielder Will Johnson to the Portland Timbers for additional allocation money.
Allocation money, which RSL is stockpiling, is an extra resource for teams over and above their salary budget and it can be used to sign new players, to re-sign existing players or to buy down a player's salary budget hit.
“Will’s arrival in the summer of 2008 was one of the major tipping points in our club’s history,” said RSL GM Garth Lagerwey in a club statement. “He was a big part of RSL’s foundation, playing a major role in our 2009 MLS Cup championship, our run to the 2010-11 [CONCACAF Champions League] final and our five straight postseason appearances.”
The 25-year-old Johnson played five seasons for Real Salt Lake and ranks in the team's Top 10 all-time leaders in games played, games started and minutes played. He has also played in all 14 of Real Salt Lake's playoff matches.
“He will be a key piece moving forward and brings a winning mentality that we feel will be very important to our culture," Timbers GM Gavin Wilkinson said in a club statement. "He is mentally tough and his attitude is infectious. He is also extremely versatile in our system.”