RSL Jumps for Joy

Attempting to solve the defensive woes that plagued the club in 2007, Real Salt Lake has signed San Diego native Ian Joy to a senior roster spot. He will help fill the hole created by Eddie Pope's retirement in a backline that was third-worst in the league last year.At 26 years of age, Joy has spent most of his professional career overseas, playing for St. Pauli of the German 2 Bundesliga for the past three seasons. As a teenager, he spent time in the youth system of Manchester United before moving on to Division One side Tranmere Rovers. Following that, Joy had short stints with Scotland's FC Montrose and England's Kidderminster Harriers and Chester City. Though he returned to the US in 2003 with the Columbus Crew, he never officially saw action with the club and soon departed for Germany.

Joy has represented the United States at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels.

"Ian brings a wealth of knowledge of playing at a high level and at the international level," said RSL coach Jason Kreis. "Obviously, he has some ability, but we also brought him in because we feel he can be a real leader."

For his part, Joy says he relished the opportunity to return to his home country, and thought that Real Salt Lake would make the perfect fit for him.

"Major League Soccer has always been a dream of mine, and I didn't want to be 30 years old and finishing my career when I joined," said Joy. "I have come to Real Salt Lake to do the best I can, to become a better soccer player, and learn from the coaches, but most importantly I have come to win. It's in my blood and I will do anything it takes to walk off the field after every game a winner."

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