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Donny Toia becomes Real Salt Lake's first homegrown player to sign deal

Published: Monday, March 14 2011 10:08 p.m. MDT

SANDY — Real Salt Lake made Donny Toia, 18, its first homegrown player signing over the weekend.

Toia is from Tucson, Ariz., and has been part of the RSL Academy in Arizona for more than two years.

"We've got to see how he fits with the group and see how he projects over time," said RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey. "I think it's really critical that we not put big expectations on players that are this young. These players are multiple years away from contributing to our team."

Last year MLS began allowing teams to sign home-grown players who came up through their own youth academies. Lagerwey said Toia is an athletic, fast, left-footed player who projects as an attacking player.

Toia was part of the RSL youth team that participated in Under-18 Club World Cup in Madrid in 2009.

"He's a talented kid. He's got to figure out how to be a pro," said Lagerwey.

RSL made another transaction on Monday releasing midfielder Jarad vanSchaik, who it took with the 52nd pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.

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