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Real Salt Lake signs seven players for 2006 season

March 22, 2006 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Real Salt Lake News Release

SALT LAKE CITY - Real Salt Lake General Manager Steve Pastorino and Head Coach John Ellinger today announced the signing of Salt Lake City native MF Joey Worthen and MF Kevin Novak to the senior roster. In addition, RSL announced the signing of FW Atiba Harris, DF Cameron Knowles, GK Noah Palmer, DF Willis Forko, FW Jeff Rowland and MF Ryan Johnson to the developmental roster.

"As a group of players I feel that our depth chart is much deeper this season. We went about trying to improve our team speed, size and added overall better players with these additions," Ellinger said. "These players have done very well during the pre-season and will provide strength in positions where we didn't have it last year. We have added players who can play multiple positions and players who are specialized."

Worthen is a Cottonwood High School product, a former Parade High School All-American and most recently a member of the United Soccer League Second Division Richmond Kickers. While with Richmond, Worthen was an offensive threat on the left side of the field. Prior to joining the Kickers, he spent two seasons with the USL Second Division Pittsburgh Riverhounds. In 2002 he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the second round of A-League College Draft.

Novak was invited as a trialist to the RSL's 2005 inaugural preseason training camp and was signed to the developmental roster on March 28. The Huntington Beach, Calif. native made his MLS debut in the 2-1 loss against the Columbus Crew on September 24. He notched his first career MLS goal in his first career start in a 2-2 come from behind against the San Jose Earthquakes on October 8.

Harris has been a member of the St. Kitts-Nevis U-13, U-15, U-17, U-20, U-23 and Senior Men's National Teams. The 21-year old has trained with a number of European clubs including British clubs Newcastle United, Portsmouth, Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Cardiff City, Oldham Athletics, Huddersfield Town, with French club Nice and Spanish club Cádiz.

Knowles was selected in the Fourth Round (37th overall) in the 2005 MLS Sup-plemental draft on ADD DATE. The Auckland, New Zealand native made his debut in the 1-1 tie against Los Angeles Galaxy on June 22. He played in four regular season games with three starts. Knowles played in 10 reserve division games, all starts, notching one goal in RSL's 5-2 win against the Columbus Crew on Sept. 25.

Johnson was RSL's second selection in the third round (Twenty-sixth Overall) in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft on January 20. At Oregon State University, he earned All-Pac-10 honors in each of his four seasons. Johnson owns the Beaver's career (30) and single-season (13) assist records. He finished third in total points (66) and tied for seventh in goals (18). Johnson appeared in 76 games, tied for the school record with former Oregon State teammate Matt Johnson.

Forko was selected in the second round (Fourteenth Overall) in the 2006 MLS Supplemental Draft on January 26. He played collegiate soccer at the University of Connecticut for four seasons, and finished collegiate career with three goals and 15 assists. Forko was twice named to the All-Big East third team during the 2004 and 2005 season.

Williamsburg, Virginia native Palmer was selected by RSL in the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft and signed with the team on March 29, 2005. He is one of the most accomplished goalkeepers in the University of Maryland history. Palmer stopped 73 shots and posted nine shutouts the 2004 season and was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference second team.

Rowland was a first round (Second Overall) selection in the 2006 MLS Supplemental Draft on January 26. The Albuquerque, New Mexico native left the University of New Mexico as the most decorated player in school history and is the only two-time All-American in school history. He went from a non-recruited walk-on to a Hermann Trophy Finalist during his four years at New Mexico. In addition to being a great athlete, he excelled as a student with a 3.76 grade point average in Marketing.

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