Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Jeff Attinella was among five players selected by Minnesota United FC during Tuesday’s 2016 MLS Expansion Draft.
Minnesota will be competing in its inaugural season in 2017.
“I’m thankful for the opportunities I got with Real Salt Lake,” Attinella said in a press release. “I made some of the best friends I’ll ever have and the support the team and the fans gave to me and my wife is what means the most to me.”
Originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft by RSL, Attinella spent two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the NASL before ultimately signing with RSL on December 3, 2012. With the Rowdies, he won the 2012 NASL Soccer Bowl title and was named NASL Best XI.
In four seasons with Real Salt Lake, Attinella played in 29 matches, starting 28 times. He finished with a 7-15-6 record with five shutouts and a 1.86 goals against average. Across all competitions, Attinella totaled 37 games played with a record of 11-16-9 with eight shutouts and a 1.61 goals against average.
“I’m a little disappointed for the club, but we are excited for Jeff and the new opportunities he has,” said Craig Waibel, who is RSL’s general manager. “Jeff was a great piece to our locker room for four years and was always someone we could rely on when he was called upon.”
Attinella was among three players who had played with Real Salt Lake to get selected, joining Donny Toia, who was picked first overall by Atlanta United, and Collen Warner, who was picked by Minnesota.
Late last week it was announced Real Salt Lake forward Sebastian Saucedo completed the terms of his loan to Veracruz in Mexico’s Liga MX and will return to the Sandy-based club.
The 19-year-old appeared in four league matches for Veracruz, which finished the 2016 Apertura 17th in the league with a 3-11-3 record. In Copa MX play, Saucedo scored his first professional goal and played in five matches as Veracruz won the tournament title. In addition, he played seven matches with the U.S. U-20 National Team, scoring three goals.
“I learned a lot in my year with Veracruz and I thank the club and my teammates for the opportunity,” Saucedo said. “I’m ready to score goals. I scored my first professional goal in Mexico and I think can score many more here. I’m really excited.”
Saucedo originally signed with Real Salt Lake in July of 2014 and played nine matches in the 2015 season, starting once and totaling 168 minutes. He also played seven matches with Real Monarchs, logging two assists.