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Ortuno excited by Real Salt Lake move after Las Palmas stalemate ends

From nonsense on the pitch to interesting times in the stands, Alejandro Moreno digs deep to find the best, funniest and strangest moments of the 2017 MLS season.

Alfredo Ortuno has said he is eager to prove his worth in Major League Soccer after signing for Real Salt Lake from Las Palmas following six months without playing.

Real Salt Lake used Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) to acquire the 26-year-old as a franchise player.

Ortuno scored 17 goals in 42 league appearances for Segunda Division side Cadiz on loan from Las Palmas last season but has not featured this season amid a transfer dispute.

"I'm delighted and very enthusiastic that this is over, that I'm going to be able to train in order to compete for a starting place to play again," he told Cadena Ser radio.

"It's a very exciting project. It's a team that wants to take a step forward in the MLS and I'm really thrilled.

"The team has put a lot of trust in me, they showed they wanted me from the start, and one has to be where he is wanted."

Ortuno had been hopeful of a chance in La Liga after returning to Las Palmas in June. However, the arrival of former Chelsea striker Loic Remy on transfer deadline day saw him placed on the transfer list.

He was left out of the squad and agreed to terminate his contract, which had been due to run out on Sept. 2, a day before Real Valladolid announced that they had signed him.

However, La Liga did not approve the deal because it was not completed in time.

"A lot of things happened in the summer and one that had to happen did not materialise," Ortuno said.

"I had offers from Girona, Alaves and Levante. I really hoped to play in La Liga and the offers were attractive, but it was not to be.

"I could do nothing because I couldn't play there and I couldn't leave. It has been a tough few months.

"My time in the Spanish league has been rather strange. It's not what I had dreamed of or wanted when I started my career, but I'm going where football takes me and who is to stay that in a few years, the journey won't take me back home."

Ortuno said contact with Real Salt Lake had begun in September, adding: "I had a few meetings with them in Spain where they presented me with their project and showed me their sporting facilities, which are among the best 20 in the world."

He will play alongside former Las Palmas teammate Marcelo Silva and added: "He has spoken very well about the league, the club and the city."

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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