EL PASO, Texas – June 2, 2022 – El Paso Locomotive FC has agreed to transfer midfield stand-out Diego Luna to Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake, the Club announced today. Per club policy, the details of the blockbuster transfer were not disclosed, though the move is the largest transfer in USL Championship history.
“Diego Luna has been a wonderful talent for El Paso Locomotive,” said John Hutchinson, Locomotive Head Coach and Technical Director. “His time with us was very entertaining and his growth has been right in front of our eyes, clear for everyone to see. It’s fantastic not only for Diego but also the entire Club. His development has been guided by the footballers he has been training and playing with and I know the whole group wants Diego to succeed at the next level. I speak for everyone associated with El Paso Locomotive, and not just the football team, when I say we wish Diego all the best in the future. He will be welcomed with open arms anytime he comes to visit us.”
“El Paso became a second home to me. I just wanted to thank all the staff, all my teammates, and most importantly, 8th Notch and the entire fanbase,” said Luna. “You guys have showed me support on and off the field since the day I arrive here. I think that’s something that made me who I am and is a big part of my success. I’ll forever be a Loco. Thank you very much and I will miss El Paso.”
Since joining El Paso Locomotive FC in April 2021 at the age of 17, Luna has turned heads both across the league and nationally. In his professional debut during Locomotive’s 2021 Season Opener against New Mexico United, Luna nearly found a goal minutes after entering the match as a substitute. He would go on and provide the long ball that set up the assist for the equalizing goal. His first professional goal came just weeks after his debut with the 1-0 win over Austin Bold FC. Luna went on to find nine goals and five assists through 31 matches and 21 starts.
Luna’s freshman year was highlighted with accolades. The rising star earned a spot on the USL Championship Team of the Week Starting XI twice before being named to the 2021 All-League Second Team and nominated for Young Player of the Year.
A California native, Luna made his debut for the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team in 2021. Luna joined the Stars and Stripes in November 2021 for the inaugural Revelations Cup held in Mexico. He found his first international goal in the 50th minute during the 2-1 loss against the U-20 squad from Mexico.
So far in 2022, Luna has followed up his breakout year with outstanding success. He has been called to three additional U.S. Youth National Team camps and so far has scored four goals with two assists in just 10 matches, all of which were starts. Overall, in his time with El Paso Locomotive, the now 18-year-old midfielder has recorded 13 goals and seven assists over 41 matches.
Prior to his time in El Paso, Luna played in the San Jose Earthquakes Academy from the age of 12. While with San Jose, Luna helped lift the Surf Cup trophy while also competing in the prestigious Dallas Cup and generation adidas Cup. At 15, Luna made the move to the Barca Residency Academy in Casa Grande, Arizona.
Full Name: Diego Luna
DOB: September 3, 2003 (18)
Hometown: Redwood City, California
Weight: 188 lbs.
Nationally: United States
Transaction: El Paso Locomotive FC reaches permanent transfer agreement with Real Salt Lake (MLS) for Midfielder Diego Luna
El Paso Locomotive returns to Southwest University Park on Saturday, June 4 to play host to Hartford Athletic. Locomotive will be celebrating Pride Night with a post-match fireworks show. Kickoff on Saturday is set for 7:30 p.m. MT. Tickets are available online at eplocomotivefc.com/tickets or by calling 915-235-GOAL.