Real Salt Lake Extends Homegrown Defender Justen Glad Through 2027 Season
HERRIMAN, Utah - Real Salt Lake has extended the contract of Homegrown defender Justen Glad through 2026, with a Club option for the 2027 season.
"I am extremely grateful to both the Club and to my RocNation representation for working diligently to make this extension happen, said Glad, now in his 10th season with RSL, despite just turning 26 years of age this season.
"While it's hard to believe I've been in Utah for 10 years, there is still so so much more to accomplish. it's been a dream come true to rise through the ranks of RSL from the Academy to where I am now. It's been an absolute pleasure learning from all the RSL legends and making lifelong friends here with this club. But we are here to win trophies, and that's the ultimate goal. We've had some deep runs the last few years, and I'm expecting another deep MLS run this year. I believe in this Club, I believe in this group; our locker room culture under Pablo and his staff is outstanding, and we are firmly focused on hosting playoff games at home before our amazing fans, not just this year, but for many many years to come."
The longest-tenured player on the current Real Salt Lake squad, Glad first signed with the Utah side on April 7, 2014, at the age of 17, as the Club's sixth all-time Homegrown Player. Throughout his career, Glad has gone on to set countless Club records, including being the first Homegrown to don the Captain's armband, as well as the first to reach both the 100-game centenary and 200 games played milestones. Last season, Glad became the first Homegrown to be named Real Salt Lake's Most Valuable Player, as voted by his locker-room peers. Currently, Glad is the third-most capped active Homegrown Player still with their original club, having appeared in a total of 212 MLS reg. season matches for Real Salt Lake, trailing only Jonathan Osorio (276, Toronto FC) and Russell Teibert (253, Vancouver Whitecaps FC). Additionally, Glad's 212 MLS reg. season appearances ranks sixth all-time ibehind Club legends Nick Rimando (369), Kyle Beckerman (350), Chris Wingert (247), Tony Beltran (245) and Javier Morales (240).
"The Club is elated to further secure the services of Justen Glad for several more seasons to come," said Real Salt Lake General Manager Elliot Fall. "In addition to his years of exemplary service to the Utah soccer community both in and off the field, Glad's decade with RSL serves as a template for what our Academy players should aspire to follow.
Justen's growth as a player and as a leader has been inspiring over the last 10 years, and our Club is fortunate to know that this will be his long-term home through 2027."
This season, Glad has scored a career-high five goals, matching Austin FC defender John Gallagher for the most goals scored by a defender across the entire league, while also leading all centerbacks. Most recently, Glad scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps on September 23, 2023. He also scored the equalizer against Minnesota United earlier this summer, an impressive volley in the ninth minute of stoppage time which won him Goal of the Matchday honors and served as the latest game-tying goal in Club history. Glad started his record-setting year by netting the team's first goal of the season with a 70th-minute equalizer during the season opener at Vancouver. Throughout the entirety of his career, Glad has recorded 13 goals and one assist in the regular season, while also adding the game-winning penalty kick in the first round of the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs at Seattle Sounders FC.
Throughout his career Glad has contributed to a combined 54 clean sheets between the regular- and post-season, including appearances in all seven of the team's MLS shutouts this season. Across the 2022 and 2023 seasons, Glad has appeared in all but one of the Claret-and-Cobalt's matches that resulted in a clean sheet. With only four games remaining in the regular season, Real Salt Lake is set to head West to visit LAFC at BMO Stadium on Sunday, October 1 at 6:00 p.m. MT, before returning to America First Field for the final regular season home match against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, October 7 at 7:30 p.m. MT. Tickets for the team's match against Kansas City are available.
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