Incoming Real Salt Lake addition Sebastian Jaime received his P-1 Visa Wednesday after the United States government gave the 27-year-old Argentinian striker the final green light toward joining his new team and Major League Soccer possibly within the next two days.
An RSL team spokesman told the Tribune Wednesday that Jaime and family members received their Visas and that travel arrangements to bring them to Utah would be solidified within the next 24 hours.
The impending arrival of Jaime signifies the largest mid-season move for the club since the signing of Javier Morales in the summer of 2007. Jaime's overall fee from Chilean club Union Española was a seven-figure sum, although general manager Garth Lagerwey did not divulge the specific amount of money the club spent on the new striker.
RSL made the move official on Aug. 8, two days after the August MLS transfer window closed. Lagerwey told the Tribune a deal was being worked on for three weeks prior to being made official after proper paperwork was signed and processed. Jaime played with Union Española in Chile for three seasons and helped the club win two Chilean club crowns in 2013, including the Primera Division title. He scored 39 goals in 124 career appearances with Union.
"We think this is the beginning of our ascension into becoming a mid-market team," Lagerwey told the Tribune on Aug. 8. "There are a number of teams in our league that couldn't have made this deal. This is a sign of how far we've come."
Jaime is RSL's third DP along with all-time leading scorer Alvaro Saborio and Morales.
On Tuesday, I asked RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy about Jaime's signing and his eventual arrival on the training grounds.
"I think the club's trying to show, even though we feel great with the group that we have, that we're welcome to have good players and bring in good players," Grabavoy said. "Obviously we don't know because we haven't seen him yet, so we'll see him when he gets here and what he can bring, especially for this season as we make a push … we have a lot of South American and Latin American players, so he should feel comfortable here. I think it's important for these foreign guys that come in to feel comfortable off the field with their family and personal issues as well to really be able to concentrate and feel comfortable on the field."
Aside from Lagerwey and RSL coach Jeff Cassar both of whom traveled to Chile to watch and meet Jaime in person in July players, supporters and media members are in the similar boat. Jaime's statistics and success speak for themselves, but he remains a player tasked with coming into a club late in the season, having not trained for a few weeks and a talent unfamiliar to many in the market.
"Hopefully he comes in, hopefully he's a great addition and a great player and can give us something," Grabavoy said of Jaime. "It's just another option, another dangerous attacker."