Chris Wingert - close up

Real Salt Lake welcome back veteran defender Chris Wingert after year at NYCFC

Former Real Salt Lake defender Chris Wingert is back.

After a year away with New York City FC, the RSL veteran is making his return to the preeminent club of his career. RSL announced on Wednesday he was acquired off of waivers.

“There are a lot of reasons bringing Chris Wingert back to Real Salt Lake makes sense,” club general manager Craig Waibel said in a statement. “His versatility brings depth and strengthens every position on our back line and he is a solid veteran leader that can mix well with the team. As we build the team for this season, we want to make sure we get the culture of the locker room right and with Chris we know that he adds a very positive influence.”

In 204 matches for RSL, the 33-year-old had one goal and 14 assists, mostly as a left back. His 30 starts in 2014 matched his single-season career-high and he started in both playoff matches, giving him 18 starts in RSL’s 21 all-time playoff matches.

wingert17: "What an emotional 48 hours... I'm currently on a flight out to SLC to get back to my second home and celebrate the life of one of my closest friends. Fortunately I only bought a one way trip, cause it sounds like I'm gonna be staying a while. I found this jersey in my closet before I left, looks like it still fits. #RSLfamily"

Wingert played eight seasons with Real Salt Lake, first arriving in Utah via trade with the Colorado Rapids in 2007. He spent last season with expansion side New York City FC. Before his eight-year run in Salt Lake City, he had shorter stints with both the Columbus Crew and the Colorado rapids.

“I’m very excited,” Wingert said in a statement. “Craig [Waibel] and [coach] Jeff [Cassar] worked hard to make this happen and fortunately it all worked out and it was great news. It’s a little bit surreal. I’m just pumped up to get back with the guys and get rolling.”