Javier Morales has spent much of the past decade with Real Salt Lake, and he figures to be there for a good while longer.
Real Salt Lake announced on Thursday that they have re-signed Morales to a multi-year contract extension. The 35-year-old Argentine, who is the club's all-time leader in assists, had a team-best eight goals and 12 assists during the 2015 campaign.
“Every organization clamors and talks about identity," Real Salt Lake general manager Craig Waibel said in a statement. "Keeping guys like Javier here who understand what this club has been through is important to that identity because for 10 years Javi has helped establish this club and build a stadium and build a fanbase and identify with that fanbase.
"He really encompasses everything we are.”
Morales initially joined Real Salt Lake back in Aug. 2007. He helped the club lift an MLS Cup trophy in 2009. No player in the league has more goals (25) and assists (34) over the last three years, and Morales was recently named Real Salt Lake's Most Valuable Player for the 2015 campaign.
“I want to finish my career here with Real Salt Lake,” Morales said in the same statement. “Real Salt Lake is the most important team in my life. It’s the team that didn’t just make me a better player. The club made me a better person. I came here and it was magic. Everything changed and everything was good for me and my family.”
Apart from being first all-time in Real Salt Lake's history in assists, he is second in goals with 45 and third in appearances with 211.
“I know Javi is hungrier than ever to get back on the field and make 2016 a year that we can be really proud of," said head coach Jeff Cassar, "and I’m excited to have him back."