Real Salt Lake, seeking to find space under the MLS salary cap, sent defender Robbie Russell to D.C. United on Tuesday in exchange for a third-round selection in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
Russell, who completed the final contract season of his yearly $128,250 salary, started 68 of his 78 regular-season appearances for RSL with a goal and nine assists. Russell played in 12 of the 13 MLS playoff games in RSL's franchise history, and in 10 of the team's 12 CONCACAF Champions League contests in the 2010-11 competition, including five of the six championship-phase matches this past spring.
"Firstly, I want to give a huge thank you to all the players, organization and fans that have been so amazing to me over the last three-and-a-half years," Russell said through RSL. "I would have loved to finish off my career with Real Salt Lake, and Rio Tinto Stadium and the Salt Lake area will always hold a special place in my heart, but it wasn't in the cards. It's a bittersweet departure, but sometimes you come to a point in your career where there is a better situation for your family, and this is indeed one of those times."