MLS: RSL defense gets boost with Uruguayan vet Silva

Real Salt Lake, which went into July 4 action with the worst defense of any returning MLS team, got some help at center back with the signing of 28-year-old Uruguayan Marcelo Silva.

"We have been looking to improve our defense," Real Salt Lake general manager Craig Waibel said, "but wanted to find the right fit. In Marcelo, we found a solid center back, a leader and someone we think will really fit into our locker room – which was an important aspect to our search. He is a savvy veteran from Europe who has a strong desire to come to RSL and help us build something special."

Silva has spent most of his pro career in Spain -- four seasons with Almeria, plus stints at Las Palmas, Real Valladolid and Real Zaragoza. He played 35 games, all starts for Zaragoza in the 2016-17 Spanish second division season.

"MLS has improved a lot in these past few years," said Silva. "I believe it is a league where I can continue to grow as player and as a professional. I think I made the right decision to come here because the teams in the league are growing a lot and I think that will allow me to keep improving professionally."

TIMBERS' SHAKEUP. Nik Wald, who had worked with the Portland Timbers since 2007, has resigned his position as director of sports medicine and head athletic trainer. It came during a season when the Timbers have suffered a number of injuries, most recently captain Liam Ridgewell's second quad injury in the last month.

T2 head athletic trainer Taichi Kitagawa will join the Timbers first-team medical staff, which also includes director of sports science Nick Milonas, athletic trainer Alex Margarito and performance analyst Nick Lewis.

KANN INJURY. Atlanta United goalkeeper Alec Kann is likely to miss approximately 6-8 weeks with a left quad injury suffered in its 2-0 win over Columbus Crew on Saturday. Kann is 8-7-3 on the year with a 1.39 goals against average. Kyle Reynish started Tuesday's game against San Jose. Brad Guzan will be eligible to play for Atlanta after the July break but is currently with the U.S. national team for the Gold Cup.
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