March 2, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Real Salt Lake
SANDY, Utah (Saturday, March 2, 2013) - Real Salt Lake signed DF Rich Balchan on Saturday. Per league and club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
Balchan comes to RSL after spending his first two professional seasons with the Columbus Crew. The 24-year-old Indiana University product began training with the Claret-and-Cobalt on Feb. 12 at the team's preseason camp at the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup.
The 12th overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Balchan played in 19 matches - including 18 starts - during his rookie season before appearing in zero matches during an injury-plagued 2012. The Crew waived Balchan this offseason; he trialed with the Chicago Fire before joining up with RSL in Tucson.
"I'm pretty excited," Balchan said. "It's been kind of a long road trying to find a new team, so I'm excited to get back after it. It's a good group of guys and a great staff. All the way from the coaches to the trainers, just top to bottom it's a really talented group and there's a lot of depth here. Whether you're playing in games or if it's in practice, it's all very competitive and we're all going to make each other better so it's just a great atmosphere to be in."
Balchan will be eligible for selection in RSL's MLS regular season opener at defending Supporters' Shield winners San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday. The match will kickoff at 8 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on CW30, which will air the 30-minute Ford Pregame Show beginning at 7:30 p.m. MT.