Real Salt Lake sign veteran Uruguayan center back Marcelo Silva

Defensive help has arrived at Real Salt Lake.

RSL announced on Monday morning that they have signed Uruguayan center back Marcelo Silva, who joins the club after spending most of the last eight years in Spain’s top two divisions. The 28-year-old defender will join RSL for training this week and will be eligible to play after the opening of the summer transfer window on July 10. RSL used Targeted Allocation Money to sign Silva.

"I am very excited to bring Marcelo to RSL," Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke said in a statement issued by the club. "He is someone who we have researched extensively and hold a very high opinion on as a player as well as a person. His talent, experience and professionalism will be a huge benefit in the locker room and on the field."

SIlva began his professional career in Uruguay with Danubio, and moved to Spain in 2010 to play for Almeria in the top flight. In four seasons with Almeria – two in La Liga and two in Liga Adelante – he played 45 league matches and helped the club earn promotion in the 2012-13 season.

He spent part of 2012 on loan to Peñarol in his native Uruguay and made two appearances in the Copa Libertadores in that stint. After leaving Almeria, he played for Las Palmas, Real Valladolid and Real Zaragoza before landing in Salt Lake.

"We have been looking to improve our defense, but wanted to find the right fit," RSL general manager Craig Waibel said in the same club statement. "In Marcelo, we found a solid center back, a leader and someone we think will really fit into our locker room – which was an important aspect to our search. He is a savvy veteran from Europe who has a strong desire to come to RSL and help us build something special."

Silva was most recently on the books of Real Zaragoza. He started in each of the 35 league games he appeared in for the second-division club this past season, and scored one goal.

He will be tasked at Real Salt Lake with helping to improve a leaky defense that has surrendered 38 goals. RSL is currently at the bottom of the Western Conference.

"MLS has improved a lot in these past few years. I believe it is a league where I can continue to grow as player and as a professional," Silva said in a statement. "I think I made the right decision to come here because the teams in the league are growing a lot and I think that will allow me to keep improving professionally."

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