Real Salt Lake signs Josh Saunders and Khari Stephenson

Published: Friday, Feb. 22 2013 10:42 p.m. MST

Alvaro Saborio (right) of Real Salt Lake battles for the ball against new signing Khari Stephenson, then of the San Jose Earthquakes, during their MLS matchup at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy Saturday, June 23, 2012.

Brian Nicholson, Deseret News

SANDY — Real Salt Lake added two players to its roster on Friday, goalkeeper Josh Saunders and midfielder Khari Stephenson, for an undisclosed fee.

Saunders, 31, arrives from the L.A. Galaxy, having won two MLS Cups with the club. He has been training with RSL since the beginning of the month and has made a few appearances in several of RSL's preseason matches. Saunders made 27 regular season appearances for the Galaxy, but is likely to play second fiddle to RSL veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

Stephenson joins RSL from the San Jose Earthquakes and has been training with the team since January. The 32-year-old Jamaican has already impressed RSL in the preseason, scoring the winning goal in the team's 3-2 victory over the New England Revolution in the Desert Diamond Cup.

RSL general manager Garth Lagerway said, "We want to have competition at every spot, and I think we got to a point with our goalkeeping situation where we hadn't had that. Signing Josh is key to changing that.

"Khari is another player who we did not expect to be available, and we feel very fortunate that he was. He's an attack-minded player who is very physical and keeps the ball well. We think he'll be a very good fit in our system."

Real Salt Lake will continue its preseason campaign against the Seattle Sounders FC in the Desert Diamond Cup Final on Saturday.

Rachel Bascom is an intern for deseretnews.com. She can be reached by email, rbascom@deseretnews.com, or you can follow her on Twitter @rachel_bascom.

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