SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake right-back Aaron Herrera has inked an extension that will keep him with the club until at least the 2024 season, with a club option for the 2025 and 2026 seasons. Further details of the deal have not been released.
“I was just a 15-year-old from Las Cruces with a dream when I joined the RSL Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona back in 2012,” Herrera said. “The five seasons here in Salt Lake have brought me so much, have helped me grow on and off the field, so I simply couldn’t be more excited to extend my career at Real Salt Lake,” he added.
Herrera, 25, officially signed with Real Salt Lake as the 14th Homegrown player on December 15, 2017, and has since gone on to play 108 fixtures for the Claret and Cobalt and solidified himself as one of the premier full-backs in all of Major League soccer.
“Now being a part of what Pablo Mastroeni, Elliot Fall and the new ownership is building here, on top of the great culture and foundation we have had from the Academy to the Monarchs to the first team, I am always grateful. Every time I get to go out and represent this badge and play in front of these incredible fans in Utah, our goal is to reward them and this community by winning trophies.”
“Hopefully we can get a trophy at some point, that is the main goal,” Herrera reminded, when pressed to talk about himself. “The individual things don’t really matter if you’re not winning any trophies as a team. The goal is to win a Supporters’ Shield, win an MLS Cup, win Leagues Cup, win CONCACAF; that’s what we are all aiming for.”
This season, Herrera has started 8 of the 16 fixtures. He struggled with injury to begin the season and served a one-game red card suspension last weekend against San Jose. But he will return this week against Colombia in what is expected to be a blockbuster fixture in front of another sell-out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Highlights of Herrera’s career to date include his first call-up to the USMNT when he started against Trinidad & Tobago on January 31st, 2021. He became just the fourth RSL Academy player to play for the USMNT joining the likes of Corey Baird, Richie Ledezma , and Sebastian Soto.
During the 2021 season, Herrera tied then-Captain Albert Rusnák for the most assists on the team with 11. During the same season on July 17, Herrera scored his debut goal for the club when he broke on a counterattack against LAFC and calmly shot the ball into the bottom right corner with his non-preferred left foot to equalize in the 18th minute.
Herrera is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league, while also improving his decision-making in the attacking third. Herrera’s crossing ability is one of the best on Real Salt Lake. He has also played in a variety of positions from his usual right-back position to left-back, center-back and wing-back.
“Aaron epitomizes what Real Salt Lake’s development paradigm represents,” stated Fall, who has been with RSL for the entirety of Herrera’s growth from the RSL Academy, through Aaron’s college career, and his quintet of MLS campaigns. “Aaron has been a standout MLS defender throughout his professional career, college, his youth international career as well. We are exceptionally proud of how he represents this club, and we are elated that his presence here is secured for the foreseeable future.”
Real Salt Lake will host Columbus on Saturday, June 25, with kickoff scheduled for 8 pm
The match will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports and KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot com.