Transfer Tracker

Real Salt Lake acquire former LAFC striker Cristian Arango 

Arango RSL official transfer


UPDATE (June 10) – Real Salt Lake have completed the acquisition of striker Cristian ‘Chicho’ Arango from Liga MX side Pachuca, the club announced Saturday. 

The 28-year-old Colombian international’s deal runs through the 2025 MLS season with an option for 2026. He will occupy a Designated Player spot alongside forwards Jefferson Savarino and Damir Kreilach.

Arango returns to MLS after starring for LAFC from 2021-22, recording 35 goals and six assists in 58 games across all competitions for the Black & Gold. He was part of their MLS Cup/Supporters’ Shield double-winning side in 2022.

Since the league’s Secondary Transfer Window opens July 5, Arango won’t be eligible to appear for the Claret-and-Cobalt until a July 8 home match against Orlando City SC (9:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

ORIGINAL (June 7) – Real Salt Lake are bringing striker Cristian Arango back to Major League Soccer this summer on a club-record deal, according to _The Athletic_’s Tom Bogert.

Arango would arrive from Pachuca roughly four months after LAFC transferred him to the Mexican club. He left in February on a reported $6 million transfer, looking for an increased contract after not being a Designated Player during his first MLS stint.

Now, Arango would reportedly occupy a DP slot with RSL and surpass the reported $4 million transfer fee (previous club record) they spent to land winger Andrés Gómez from Colombian side Millonarios FC in January. Arango also played for Millonarios before coming to LAFC in August 2021.

While at LAFC, Arango tallied 35 goals and six assists in 58 games across all competitions. He was part of their MLS Cup/Supporters’ Shield double-winning side in 2022.

While at Pachuca, Arango chipped in five goals and two assists in 13 games across all competitions. They finished fifth in the Liga MX Clausura table.

Arango would give RSL a proven goalscorer to spearhead an attack that’s led by Gómez and Jefferson Savarino on the flanks, as well as Damir Kreilach centrally. RSL also have Rubio Rubín and Danny Musovski at center forward, though neither has fully grabbed the starting No. 9 position.

If paperwork and timelines hold true, Arango may be eligible to debut July 8 when they host Orlando City SC at America First Field (9:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass). For Arango to be registered and eligible, RSL would need to wait for the MLS Secondary Transfer Window to open on July 5.