Sandy, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata will miss the next 3-4 months after he fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot during a training session on Sunday.
The injury will require surgery and force Plata to miss the first month or two of the 2015 MLS season, the club announced.
Plata, 22, was RSL's leading scorer last season, netting 13 goals and earning himself a return to the Ecuador national team.
In two seasons in Utah, Plata has totaled 17 goals with 14 assists following his arrival from Toronto FC.
RSL also announced on Monday that the club has officially purchased the contract of Plata and signed him to a multi-year deal, making Plata a Young Designated Player.
"Kudos to club ownership for making the commitment to a young player in Joao Plata who has proven himself as an exciting, dynamic offensive threat for RSL," said Real Salt Lake technical director Craig Waibel.
"Plata has earned this, to have the multiple parties involved in his player pass be eliminated and the security of knowing that this club, Real Salt Lake, is his home, now and for the foreseeable future."