Real Salt Lake signs "El Burrito" Martinez to Designated Player deal
Real Salt Lake has completed the long-expected signing of Juan "El Burrito" Manuel Martinez from Boca Juniors, the club announced on Thursday.
Martinez, 29, signs as a Designated Player, filling the void left behind by Alvaro Saborio, who was traded to D.C. United for Luis Silva last month. To add Martinez as a DP, Real Salt Lake used targeted allocation money to buy down the budget charge of U.S. men's national team forward Kyle Beckerman. The club was at its full allotment of three DPs with Beckerman, Sebastian Jaime and Joao Plata.
Martinez, who has four caps for the Argentina national team, has 44 goals in 258 club appearances spread across Velez Sarsfield, Corinthians and Boca Juniors. He had 10 of his goals in 58 games with Boca.
"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 club statement. "A player with his pedigree and background will be a good addition to our locker room and our play on the field."
Real Salt Lake hopes Martinez can interject quality into a side that was eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup in the semifinals Wednesday night and currently sits in eighth place in the Western Conference, three points out of the conference's final playoff place.
Martinez's signing becomes the latest instance of the new TAM rule being implemented. The LA Galaxy were first to use it when they acquired Giovani dos Santos. The Portland Timbers did the same when signing Lucas Melano; the Seattle Sounders used TAM in two instances: one to sign Paraguayan Nelson Valdez as a DP and lower the budget charge of Osvaldo Alonso and more directly to sign Panama center back Roman Torres; FC Dallas used it to sign Ezequiel Cirigliano from River Plate.
TAM has also been involved in a pair of trades: D.C. United acquired some in dealing Michael Seaton to the Portland Timbers, while the Chicago Fire acquired TAM and regular allocation money in dealing Didier Drogba's MLS rights to the Montreal Impact.