Real Salt Lake exercised the purchase option on Brazilian midfielder Everton Luiz’s loan from Società Polisportiva Ars et Labor (S.P.A.L.) in Italy’s Serie A, the club announced Wednesday.
Following a season-long loan, Luiz joins Real Salt Lake on a permanent basis as a Targeted Allocation Money signing.
“We are thrilled to be able to keep a foundational piece of our midfield,” RSL general manager Elliot Fall said in a statement. “He joined us in 2019 and quickly established himself as a key contributor to everything we are trying to do.”
The 31-year-old was a vital part of Real Salt Lake’s midfield, often partnering with club captain Kyle Beckerman centrally. Luis started 24 of the 27 regular season matches he appeared in during the 2019 season. He had two assists and a team-leading 73 tackles and was named club MVP by his teammates.
“With such a young team, Everton added a veteran presence and his work-ethic and ability to break up plays while showing some flare was important to our success,” RSL coach Freddy Juarez said. “He adds to our toughness on the field and his professionalism in the locker room helps set the tone for what we want to do as a club.”
The news came one day after RSL announced both Fall and Juarez were named general manager and head coach, respectively.