With preseason slowly ramping up, Real Salt Lake added a league champion and MVP to their roster, completing the transfer of Cuban midfielder Yordany Álvarez from Orlando City Soccer Club.
On Thursday, Orlando City announced that RSL had exercised their option to purchase Álvarez’s contract after the 2011 USL PRO MVP spent the final two months of the reason on loan at Rio Tinto Stadium. Per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. At time of publication, RSL had no comment on the move.
Álvarez, 26, appeared in 25 games for Orlando City during 2011 in regular season, US Open Cup and postseason play, scoring three goals and helping the USL PRO champions to a 15-3-6 regular season record and a league championship. He made five appearances (four starts) for RSL after arriving on loan in early September.
A Cuban refugee who defected in 2008, Álvarez received his green card late in 2011, meaning he will not occupy an international slot on Jason Kreis’ roster.
“Yordany is a quality individual as well as a great midfield player,” Orlando City president Phil Rawlins said in a statement. “It has been our pleasure to have him with us for the past three years. His game has developed considerably under [Adrian Heath’s] coaching and I am sure he will be an outstanding performer for Real Salt Lake.”