Real Salt Lake announced Monday that it is locked up playmaking midfielder Javier Morales with a contract extension through the 2012 Major League Soccer season.

The 28-year-old midfielder from Argentina came to RSL last season on loan from the Spanish Second Division team UD Vesindario. He played in seven games, scoring one goal and assisting on two others before a shoulder injury put him on the shelf for the remainder of the season.

Coming back healthy in 2008, Morales has played, and started 24 games for the club. He has four goals and is second in MLS with 10 assists. His play in the middle has been one of the major reasons Real is still in the hunt for its first postseason berth.

"Javier has been an important player for us this season, and we think he is the perfect prototype for our system in that he is a gifted technical player who is mobile and willing to work hard," said Real Salt Lake General Manager Garth Lagerway. "We expect him to key our post-season push and are ecstatic that we now have him under contract for the next four seasons."

Following MLS procedure, financial terms for the contract were not made available, but his rights have been purchased from his former team in Spain.

"I am very pleased to stay here with Real Salt Lake for the next four years," said Morales. "The club offered me the extension and I accepted it because I feel comfortable here, comfortable with not just the team and the coaching staff, but also with living in Salt Lake City as well."