New Real Salt Lake signing Juan Manuel Martinez celebrates a goal for Velez Sarsfield
Action Images / Reuters

Real Salt Lake sign 29-year-old forward Juan Manuel "El Burrito" Martinez to Designated Player deal

Real Salt Lake added a striker to replace the recently traded Alvaro Saborio on Thursday, signing 29-year-old Argentine Juan Manuel “El Burrito” Martinez to a Designated Player contract.

Martinez comes to RSL after a standout club career that has seen him play for South American giants Boca Juniors and Corinthians. In order to accommodate Martinez as a Designated Player on their roster, RSL used Targeted Allocation Money to lower the budget charge of Kyle Beckerman.

Martinez will be added to the RSL roster pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate. Per league and club policy, further terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Juan is a player with great quality that can add a new dynamic to our attack while fitting in with our style of keeping possession with the ball on the ground," RSL technical director Craig Waibel said in a statement released by the club. "A player with his pedigree and background will be a good addition to our locker room and our play on the field."

Martinez joins RSL after spending 13 years in South America. He most recently played with Argentine giants Boca Juniors, amassing 10 goals in 58 appearances since joining the club in January 2013.

“El Burrito” began his career with Argentine side Velez Sarsfield in 2003, winning the 2005 and 2009 Clausura titles with the club. He has 44 goals in 258 career league appearances. His best season came in 2010, scoring 10 goals in 19 games in Argentina’s Apertura tournament and sharing Argentina’s 2010 Footballer of the Year award with Lionel Messi.

Martinez has four appearances for Argentina’s national team, scoring one goal – against Brazil – in September 2012.

"Martinez is a very experienced player," RSL head coach Jeff Cassar said in the club’s statement. "He's played in several high-level situations, and has enjoyed success at each and every stop. We believe he will bring a style of soccer that we want for our club and our fans."

Stay connected: The all-new, completely redesigned, FREE official MLS app is your best mobile source for scores, news, analysis and highlights. Download:  App Store  |  Google Play