Real Salt Lake’s Joao Plata to undergo surgery on broken foot, miss start of season

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Not even a week into the club’s preseason preparations, and Real Salt Lake have suffered the first major injury of the 2015 Major League Soccer season. RSL forward Joao Plata fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot on Sunday.

Following an operation on Monday, Plata is expected to miss the next three to four months, which will included anywhere from the first month and a half to two and a half months of the regular season. RSL kicks off the regular season March 7, away to the Portland Timbers, and host the Philadelphia Union in the club’s home opener a week later.

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Plata wasn’t touched by another player in suffering the injury, but rather injured himself while attempting to change direction during a training session on artificial turf.

Plata recently signed a new, multi-year contract with Real Salt Lake after the Ecuadorian attacker enjoyed the most prolific season of his young career in 2014 (13 goals, 6 assists in league play). Plata’s new contract makes the 5-foot-3 dynamo a Young Designated Player (under 23 years of age) under MLS’s roster and salary compliance guidelines.