Morales played well in his first full season following his gruesome May 2011 ankle injury, scoring three goals and registering nine assists in 29 league appearances last year. RSL’s betting he’ll be even better in 2013, with the club showing its faith in the Argentine playmaker by re-signing him to a new contract in January.
Sadly, Morales won’t be available for the Claret-and-Cobalt at the start of the 2013 season, with the creative maestro set to miss several weeks at the start of the year after undergoing surgery for a torn lateral meniscus early in preseason. Look for “Javi” to come back firing when he does return – he spoke at length during preseason about his desire to get recapture the 2010/2011 form that captivated the entire league and took RSL all the way to the brink of the CONCACAF Champions League crown.
RSL: Signed by Real Salt Lake on Aug. 17, 2007
2012: Made 29 league appearances, including 23 starts … Led RSL with nine assists in league play and finished tied for fourth on the team with three goals … Scored his first goal during RSL’s season-opening 3-1 win at the L.A. Galaxy … Appeared as a sub in RSL first three games while recovering from a right quad strain suffered during preseason … Notched his first assist of the year in RSL’s comeback 3-2 victory at Portland on March 31 … Registered an assist in on April 28 against Toronto and again in RSL’s next game on May 5 against New England … Suffered an injury that kept him out several weeks in the Claret-and-Cobalt’s scoreless draw at Chicago on May 9 … Scored his second goal of the season on June 23 in a 1-2 loss against San Jose, curling a free kick into the back of the net from just outside the box … Tallied a goal and an assist in RSL’s 2-1 home win over Portland on Sept. 22, curling a fantastic free kick into the upper left corner from 25 yards out and providing the helper on Fabian Espindola’s set piece opener … Assisted in the two matches immediately following the Sept. 22 Portland game, registering one in a 4-0 win at Chivas USA on Sept. 29 and another in a 2-1 victory at L.A. on Oct. 6 to make it three consecutive games with a helper … Played 177 of a possible180 minutes in RSL’s Western Conference Semifinal series loss to Seattle … Played all 90 minutes in all four of RSL’s CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage matches
2011: Started nine of 10 regular season appearances split between beginning and end of the season, scoring twice and adding three assists … Also played all but three of RSL’s 540 minutes across its run to the CONCACAF Champions League Finals, adding three goals and an assist in the competition’s Championship Stage … Helped key RSL’s offensive explosion on 3/01 v. CLB in the CCL Quarterfinals 2ndleg, assisting on Saborio’s 23’ opener before adding a pair of his own, including the 36’ GWG, in a dominant 4-1 performance … Notched game-winning assist on 3/19 @ SJ, finding Beckerman for his 64’ tally in a 1-0 victory in monsoon-like conditions at Buck Shaw Stadium … Duplicated earlier 1A/2G effort against Columbus on 3/26 v. LA, helping Williams open the scoring less than 90 seconds in before tacking on a pair (10’, 41’) to crush the Galaxy in a 4-1 win in Sandy … Provided the high point of RSL’s campaign on 4/20 @ Monterrey, his far-post finish in the 89’ bringing the first leg of the CCL Finals to its eventual 2-2 finish … Suffered a dislocated ankle and torn ligaments in his left foot on 5/07 @ CHV, Marcos Mondaini’s challenge from behind ruling the RSL playmaker out of game action for what would prove to be four-and-a-half months … Returned to 18-man roster on 9/24 @ DC but did not feature … Four days later on 9/28 v. CHI, entered the match at the hour mark and went the final 30 minutes in a 0-3 defeat in which RSL went down to 10 men early … Would make first start and notch first assist of his comeback on 10/01 @ LA, Espindola’s finish of his 45’ corner kick giving RSL a temporary lead in an eventual 1-2 defeat … Ended up starting each of RSL’s last four contests, and went the full 90 minutes in the last three … Also started all three of RSL’s postseason contests, playing all but 12 of the 270 available minutes and tying David Beckham for the postseason assist lead with three helpers … Assisted on both of Saborio’s tallies on 10/29 v. SEA in Leg 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals, spurring RSL to a crucial 3-0 win and eventual 3-2 series triumph … Ended the season with a 90-minute effort on 11/06 @ LA , in which he assisted on Saborio’s 25’ equalizer in the 1-3 defeat in the Western Conf. Championship at The Home Depot Center.
2010: Consistent return to top form in 2010 earned the Argentine playmaker his first MLS “Best XI” honor at season’s end, his second RSL Most Valuable Player award, and his second consecutive MLS All-Star nomination – this time voted as a “First XI” choice by fans, players, coaches, GM’s and his playing peers … Combined to play 2,511 minutes across 32 matches (28 starts) in League and Cup competition ... Led squad with nine assists in MLS play while also ranking in top 5 with an MLS-career-high seven goals (2nd), 25 starts (4th), and 2,163 minutes played (5th) … The nine helpers placed T-9th across MLS alongside fellow Argentine Guillermo Barros Schelotto, while 76 fouls suffered were 2nd most, behind only League MVP David Ferreira … Finished season in top five on RSL’s career charts in numerous categories, his all-time numbers including 31 assists (1st), 15 goals (T-5th w/ Movsisyan), 6 game-winning assists (1st), 7 game-winning goals (2nd), 199 fouls suffered (2nd behind A. Williams), 64 shots on goal (4th), and 132 shots (T-5th w/ Kreis) … 2G/1A effort in a thorough 3-0 win on 3/27 @ SJ led to Morales being voted the first MLS Player of the Week of 2010 … Started scoring with a stunning 30-yard volley into the upper right 90 (14’) before finishing the night’s scoring with another upper-corner beauty on a free kick from the edge of the area (54’), and notched an assist on an Espindola (27’) goal in between … The brace marked his first multi-goal effort in what was his 63rd regular-season match in an RSL uniform … His tally on 4/01 @ HOU (17’) pushed RSL out to a lead in the eventual 1-2 defeat, and was retroactively voted the MLS Goal of the Week for Week 2 … Missed MLS Cup ’09 rematch on 4/17 @ LA due to a R adductor strain suffered on 04/10 v SEA … Helped exact revenge on 5/13 v. HOU, assisting twice (Saborio – 24’, 60’) to help lead RSL to a 3-1 win in Sandy … Helped end Galaxy’s 12-game undefeated streak to start the season on 6/09 v. LA, his 80’ goal off a Galaxy miscue counting as the lone goal in a 1-0 win that preceded the World Cup break … Notched another 2-assist game on 7/02 v. NE in RSL’s 5-0 drubbing of the Revs (Olave – 47+’, Saborio – 57’) … After earning second All-Star nod, started and played 63 minutes on 7/28 on behalf of MLS vs. Manchester United in the EPL side’s 5-2 win in front of 70,728 fans at Houston’s Reliant Stadium … Earned MLS Player of the Week honors for Week 21 effort on 8/14 v. CLB, blasting home two seeing-eye strikes (11’, 60’) that punctuated a dominant performance and a 2-0 win in the battle of Conference leaders at Rio Tinto Stadium … Assisted on both RSL goals on 10/02 @ NE (Borchers – 68’, Saborio – 84’) in a 2-1 win that marked the team’s first ever on artificial turf … Led the charge in clash of the records on 10/16 v. DAL, assisting on Grabavoy’s GWG (59’) before closing the scoring himself (90’) in a 2-0 win that pushed RSL’s home undefeated run in MLS play to 25 games and snapped FCD’s League-record-tying 20 match stretch … After picking up a red card (69’ – 2nd caution) on 10/30 @ DAL in Leg One of the Western Conf. Semifinal Series, was forced to sit out of the 1-1 Leg Two draw on 11/06 in Sandy (2-3 aggregate loss)
2009: First-time MLS All-Star finished season 3rd on RSL with five assists and 5th with 24 GS and 26 GP … Also started all four MLS Cup Playoff contests for RSL, finishing the postseason with a goal and assist in 299 minutes of action … Finished season as RSL’s career leader in assists (21) and corner kicks (239) … Ranked in top 5 in MLS with 113 corner kicks (2nd to KC’s Lopez – 123) and 55 fouls suffered (4th) … His first and only goal of the season was a big one on 4/11 v. DC, his 80th minute finish past Louis Crayton lifting the home side to a 2-1 victory … Made his contributions known during a historic night on 4/25 v. NE, assisting on RSL’s first two goals (Olave – 53’, Mathis – 55’) in a 6-0 trouncing of the Revs … Morales’ precision corner kick to the far post combined with Mathis’ thunderous volley to create one of the three 2009 MLS Goal of the Year nominees … Served one-games suspensions on 5/06 v. LA (Disciplinary Committee Decision for incident on 5/02 @ COL) and 6/06 v. COL (caution accumulation) … Netted the lone goal on 7/11 v. Club América (MEX) in XanGo Cup 2009, defeating the “Águilas” 1-0 in the first-ever international friendly at Rio Tinto Stadium … Named in July to his first MLS All-Star Team as one of two “Commissioner’s Picks” along with teammate Kyle Beckerman … Played 26 min. for MLS All-Stars on 7/29 v. Everton FC at Rio Tinto Stadium in MLS’ 3-4 PK defeat (1-1 in regulation) in front of his home crowd … Suffered R adductor strain on 8/23 @ NE and missed 8/26 v. CHV and 8/29 @ KC contests … Started in heated friendly on 10/07 v. CD Guadalajara (Chivas) (MEX) and played 42 minutes before leaving the match … Ended season on a high note on 10/24 v. COL, notching assist on Movsisyan’s final RSL tally in the 85’ of a thorough 3-0 win that helped clinch RSL’s passage to the postseason … Sparked RSL in East Semifinal Leg Two on 11/05 @ CLB, factoring in all three goal-scoring plays while registering a goal and assist in leading Utahns to a 3-2 win and a spot in the East Championship … The 1G/1A effort marked his second such postseason performance (11/08/08 @ CHV, West Semifinal Leg #2) … Played all 120 minutes on 11/14 @ CHI in the Eastern Conf. Championship, seeing the match through to its 120-minute conclusion (missed 4th round PK) … Started MLS Cup 2009 on 11/22 v. LA in Seattle, but an awkward challenge from David Beckham resulted in a knee injury that forced the Argentine from the Qwest Field turf in the 22nd minute of RSL’s eventual 1-1 draw that was capped by a 5-4 PK victory.
2008: Started and appeared in 29 of RSL’s 30 contests during the best season ever enjoyed by an RSL midfielder, breaking the club’s single-season record with 15 assists while also finishing T-2nd (w/ Findley) on RSL’s scoring chart with six goals … Finished 2nd in MLS in assists (15), assists/gm (0.52), and multi-assist games (3); 4th in assists/90 min. (0.54) and fouls committed (49); and 5th in fouls suffered (59) … His assist on RSL’s first-ever goal at Rio Tinto Stadium on 10/09 v. NY (Olave – 41’) was his 17th in an RSL uniform, breaking a tie with Andy Williams for RSL’s career lead in the category … His five-game point streak from 4/26 @ DC – 5/31 v. SJ (2G/5A) was T-2nd for the longest such stretch of the season [trailing only Luciano Emilio (DC) – 6] … Notched first two-assist match in his MLS career on 5/03 v. LA … His free kick (own goal – 11’) and deflected shot (Nunez goal – 60’) started both of RSL’s goal-scoring plays on 6/28 in a 2-1 win v. NE … Took part in the first half of RSL’s 1-4 loss in XanGo Cup 2008 on 7/09 v. Santos Laguna (MEX) … Scored the GWG on 7/12 with a 4’ free kick in RSL’s 2-0 victory v. CLB … Played the second half of RSL’s 1-2 L in an international friendly on 7/23 v. Deportivo Saprissa (CRC) … Had second 2-assist game of season – both on Fabian Espíndola goals – in a 2-0 win over COL on 8/29 … Signed contract extension on 9/23 that will keep him a member of RSL through the 2012 campaign … His back-to-back 1G/1A performances on 9/27 @ SJ and 10/04 @ NE marked his third and fourth such performances of the season (5/31 v. SJ and 8/16 @ HOU) … His 12th assist of the season, a brilliant chip to Andy Williams (73’), on 10/04 @ NE gave him the RSL single-season record in the category, breaking Jeff Cunningham’s mark of 11 (2006) … Became first player in RSL history and second player in MLS in 2008 (Barros Schelotto – CLB) to record assists in four straight games on 10/18 v. FCD, a match that marked his third 2-helper game of the campaign … Figured in all three of RSL’s goals in the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs … Carried his sparkling season over into the postseason in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinal Series v. CHV on 11/01, assisting on Movsisyan’s 90’ goal in a dramatic 1-0 win at Rio Tinto Stadium … Continued his wizardry in Game Two @ CHV on 11/08, first serving the final cross on Kovalenko’s 39’ equalizer before hammering what would be the final nail in the Goats’ coffin, his curling 77’ strike serving as the eventual series winner in the game’s 2-2 draw and RSL’s 3-2 aggregate series win.
2007: Joined Real Salt Lake as a Senior International with the club on 8/17/07 … Finished the season with one goal and two assists in seven appearances (five starts) … Made a spectacular first impression in his MLS debut on 8/29 v. KC, recording an assist on fellow Argentine Matías Mantilla’s goal 40 seconds into the match … The assist was the fastest ever for a player making his MLS debut … Scored his first career MLS goal on 9/19 v. LAG on an 86th minute free-kick, helping RSL earn a 2-2 draw.
2006-07: UD Vesindario – Spanish LIGA BBVA (Second Division): Made 23 appearances and 20 starts in one season in Spain’s second division, scoring five goals for the club.
2006: Instituto de Córdoba – Primera División Argentina (First Division)
2000-03, 2004-05: Arsenal de Sarandí – Primera División Argentina (First Division): Made 79 appearances, scoring three goals, over parts of six seasons with the team … Helped team earn promotion from Nacional B Metropolitano (Third Division) up to the Primera División in during his first stint with the Avellaneda-based club.
2004: Newell’s Old Boys – Primera División Argentina (First Division): Made 11 appearances, notching one goal while with the first division squad.
1998-2000, 2003 -- Lanús – Primera División Argentina (First Division): Made 28 appearances over three seasons.
REGULAR SEASON GAME HIGHS
Goals 2 – 3 times, last: Mar. 26, 2011; RSL v. LA
Assists 2 – 7 times, last: Oct. 2, 2010; RSL @ NE
Shots on Goal 3 – 2 times, last: July 3, 2009; RSL v. SJ
Shots 4 – 5 times, last: Sept. 4, 2010; RSL v. NY
Fouls Committed 5 – 2 times, last: May 24, 2008; RSL @ DAL
Fouls Suffered 7 – 2 times, last: May 29, 2010; RSL v. KC