Real Salt Lake have signed US men’s national team veteran Bobby Wood to a pre-contract beginning July 1 that lasts through 2023, with the forward joining after his contract at Bundesliga 2 side Hamburger SV expires.
Wood, 28, gives RSL a much-needed option at center forward after the club mostly leaned upon attacking midfielders to generate offense during the 2020 MLS season. Now, Wood is returning home after spending his entire professional career in Germany.
“It was really important for me to get into a club that felt like a family and that’s why it feels so good to come into Real Salt Lake,” Wood said in a release. “In talking with the coaches, that was the vibe I got and made it an easy decision. I’m excited for this new chapter and challenge and I want to make it as successful as possible.”
Born in Hawaii, Wood began his professional career with 1860 Munich and has also spent time at Union Berlin and Hannover 96. To date, he’s appeared in 111 Bundesliga matches while scoring 24 goals and handing out 10 assists. At the 2. Bundesliga level, Wood has 10 goals and three assists in 72 matches.
Wood boasts 13 goals in 45 USMNT appearances, last featuring in a November 2018 international friendly against Italy. Aside from scoring in FIFA World Cup qualifiers, he’s also tallied in the 2015 Concacaf Cup against Mexico and 2016 Copa America Centenario.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Bobby and his family to Salt Lake City and our club. His proven track record as a goalscorer, combined with his work rate and tenacity will be invaluable additions to our roster,” general manager Elliot Fall said in a release. “He is a player who we have tracked for several years and are quite familiar with from his extensive experience with the US national team. Over the last several months, we have had the pleasure to get to know him more personally and have the utmost confidence he will have a positive impact on our roster and locker room for years to come.”
Before Wood joins in July, RSL count Damir Kreilach and Albert Rusnak as key attackers. They also have Rubio Rubin and Douglas Martinez as leading options in the No. 9 role.
“We are excited to have Bobby come in to give us a great option of his quality in our attack,” head coach Freddy Juarez said in a release. “He brings many years of European experience and experience with our national team and we are looking forward to having him here to compete and make everyone better.”