Joao Plata - Real Salt Lake - Close up
USA Today Sports Images

Stejskal: Real Salt Lake weighing trade offers for Joao Plata

Real Salt Lake have received offers for Joao Plata from teams around MLS and are weighing whether to trade him, sources have told MLSsoccer.com. 

Plata, 26, has been with RSL since January 2013. The Ecuadorian attacker has six goals and three assists despite only appearing in 13 and only starting nine of RSL’s 21 league matches this season. He missed five of those contests due to several different injuries but has more recently found himself on the bench when healthy. His start on Saturday against Colorado was his first since June 2; he’d subbed on in three of RSL’s previous six matches and didn’t feature in the other three.

His presence on the field has been far from a given this year, but Plata has been productive when he's played, particularly recently. He scored two goals in just 24 minutes in RSL’s 3-2 loss at Minnesota on July 14 and registered a goal and an assist in Salt Lake’s 2-2 draw against the Rapids on Saturday.

While RSL have received offers, the sources said that no deal for Plata is imminent. With his total compensation for 2018 reaching $683,333 per the MLS Players Association, a player of Plata's caliber could represent solid value. RSL are well aware of that, and they aren’t willing to move him without getting a significant amount of allocation money in return. His recent run of hot form has also made them more hesitant to move him. Their high asking price has kept some teams out of the discussion at this point in the transfer window, though sources said talks could potentially heat up as the Aug. 8 close of the window nears.

Real Salt Lake are currently in sixth in the Western Conference. They play at San Jose on Saturday (10:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info).

Series: