SANDY — Real Salt Lake announced the acquisition of rookie defender Chris Estridge from the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in exchange for a conditional 2013 draft selection.
RSL and Estridge agreed to a four-year contract as part of the deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The 22-year-old Estridge was selected by Vancouver in the second round (21st overall) of January's 2012 MLS SuperDraft following a four-year collegiate career split evenly between Indiana University and Wake Forest University. Estridge was released by Vancouver during its preseason and entered RSL's radar screen last month, giving the outside back an extended trial that included appearances in MLS Reserve League play across the first month of action.
"It's a great feeling to find a home in MLS with Real Salt Lake and to be a part of what is a great squad here," said Estridge. "I know my work will be cut out for me in regards to getting time on the field, but I want to do anything and everything I can to help the team progress and accomplish its goals this season and beyond."
After coming off the bench exclusively and switching between three positions for Wake Forest during his first two collegiate seasons (26 appearances), Estridge became an instant starter at outside back after transferring to Indiana, where he was penciled into the started XI for 40 of his 42 appearances for the Hoosiers.
The native of Brownsburg, Ind., earned First Team All-Big Ten Conference and NSCAA First Team All-American honors after his standout senior campaign last fall. Estridge scored three goals and added five assists out of the backline in 2011 while helping the Hoosiers to the Round of 16 in the 2011 Men's College Cup, where IU lost to the eventual champion North Carolina Tarheels - including new RSL teammate Enzo Martinez - in overtime.
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