SANDY — Real Salt Lake has signed 19-year-old midfielder Pablo Ruiz, the team announced Friday.
Ruiz, who has played for Argentina's U-17 national team, has moved to Chile and would represent that nation should he be called up by them. Ruiz is a "discovery signing", meaning that Ruiz has been on RSL's a short list of players they were interested in. This discovery list prevented other teams from signing Ruiz.
"We've been watching him for quite a while and it's all about timing. It's the right time to bring him in. It's going to take a little while to transition — it's a big change in his life and culture — but we're really excited," RSL general manager Craig Waibel said. "He's a really talented central player, and we're challenging the depth of the central part of our team this year."
Professionally, Ruiz has played for San Lorenzo of Argentina's top flight (and Pope Francis' favorite team) as well as San Luis in Chile, according to the team's news release.
Ruiz joins 14 RSL players 23-years-old or younger and seven other midfielders on the roster.