Real Salt Lake on Monday announced the acquisition of Liberian striker Sam Johnson as their newest Designated Player – joining Albert Rusnak and Jeferson Savarino – via a transfer from Norwegian side Valerenga. Johnson, 25, will join RSL in training camp and occupy an international roster slot pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 visa.
“I’m ready for a new challenge in MLS. A lot of clubs came for me, but Real Salt Lake put more effort than the other clubs. I spoke with my advisor, I spoke with mom and some people who follow MLS closely and it was an easy decision for me,” Johnson said in a club release. “I feel like I can showcase myself in one of the biggest leagues in the world. I’m excited to be here and I look forward to playing for the fans in Salt Lake City.”
Johnson scored a team-leading 11 goals in 21 matches for Valerenga last season, a number good for sixth in the Eliteserien scoring race. He also scored two goals for the Liberian national team, bringing his career total to two goals in 11 appearances since making his full international debut in 2015.
“I am happy to welcome Sam to the RSL family. It will be good to get him integrated with the players and staff and up to speed on how we play,” Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke said. “The addition of Sam will provide us with a strong option up front and will certainly create further competition on an already deep roster.”