Real Salt Lake today announced the acquisition of FW Paulo Araujo Jr. via a loan deal with Miami FC of the USSF D-2 Pro League.
The loan arrangement will keep the Brazilian striker, a member of the reigning MLS Cup champion through the remainder of its 2010 season, including the MLS Cup Playoffs. Paulo Jr. will be available for selection for Real Salt Lake when the Utah side takes on Seattle Sounders FC this evening at Qwest Field (9:00 p.m. MT, live on ESPN2/ESPN Deportes).
Paulo Jr. will occupy the last of Real Salt Lake's five available International player roster slots, joining the Argentinean trio of FW Fabian Espindola, MF Nelson Gonzalez, and MF Javier Morales; and Costa Rican FW Álvaro Saborío on the list.
"We are excited to add a forward like Paulo to give us as many options up top as possible as we push through our congested schedule of CONCACAF and League games at the end of our season," said RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey.
Paulo Jr. joins Real Salt Lake after notching four assists and scoring a team-high eight goals in 22 appearances (18 starts) in USSF D-2 Pro League play, which ranked him tied for fifth on the 12-team league's goal-scoring chart at the time of his departure. In addition, Paulo Jr. ranks as the co-leading scorer of the 2010 edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, his five goals in three games tying him with Nate Jaqua of tournament finalist Seattle Sounders FC for the competition's scoring lead.
The 21-year-old attacker - who will don "Paulo" on his RSL jersey in the tradition of Brazilian players - began his professional career with Campeonato Brasileiro Série C club Ituano in 2008 before signing with Miami FC in 2009. During his first season with the South Florida side last year, Paulo Jr. tallied three goals and three assists in 18 league matches in USL First Division play.