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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Real Salt Lake sign defender Marcelo Silva from Real Zaragoza

Marcelo Silva faced off against the likes of Lionel Messi during his time in Spain.

Real Salt Lake has signed Uruguayan center-back Marcelo Silva, the club announced on Sunday night.

Silva, 28, arrives from Spanish second-tier side Real Zaragoza, with an undisclosed amount of Targeted Allocation Money used to complete the signing.

"MLS has improved a lot in these past few years. I believe it is a league where I can continue to grow as player and as a professional," Silva told the club's website. "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."

Silva has spent the last seven seasons bouncing around teams in Spain's top two leagues. In addition to Zaragoza, the Uruguayan has been on the books at Almeria, Las Palmas, and Real Valladolid.

During the 2012-13 season, Silva was part of the Almeria side that won promotion to La Liga. Last season, Silva made 35 league appearances for Los Blancos.

Silva is also a former Uruguay youth international, having represented them at the 2009 Under-20 World Cup.

Silva will be expected to bolster a defense that currently ranks 21st in the 22-team league. RSL is currently in last place in the Western Conference, with 17 points from 19 matches.

"I am very excited to bring Marcelo to RSL," coach Mike Petke said. "He is someone who we have researched extensively and hold a very high opinion on as a player as well as a person. His talent, experience and professionalism will be a huge benefit in the locker room and on the field."

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