CF Montreal full-back Aaron Herrera has admitted he was surprised to be leaving Real Salt Lake this winter, but is looking forward to getting started with his new club.
He originally signed for RSL as a homegrown back in 2017, going on to make 124 MLS regular season appearances for the club, scoring once and providing 19 assists.
However, despite his impressive output, RSL allowed Herrera to leave this winter with CF Montreal parting with $500k in General Allocation Money (GAM) for his services. The move certainly wasn’t in Herrera’s plan, but he quickly came around to the idea.
“As anyone would, the first day was complete shock,” Herrera said of receiving the news of his trade. “I was with Salt Lake for about 10 years, but after that sort of set in it was mostly just excitement.”
Herrera has big shoes to fill, replacing Canada international Alistair Johnston, who earned himself a big move to Scottish giants Celtic following his performances during the 2022 MLS season and at the World Cup in Qatar.
However, Herrera has been around the block in Major League Soccer and isn’t getting weighed down by any pressure to perform.
“There’s definitely pressure, but I’m not trying to replace him,” Herrera added. “I’m doing my best to become one of the best outside backs in the league. (Head coach Hernan Losada) knows I can play anywhere along the back line so I’m sure that’s what I’ll be doing this year.”
RSL are looking to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs for the third year in a row in 2023, kicking off the new season away at the Vancouver Whitecaps on February 25.