On This Date In Real Salt Lake History
January 18, 2008
It has been a long time since Real Salt Lake was out of the playoffs and in position to make dramatic improvements to the club through the MLS SuperDraft. The last time RSL held a pick in the top 11 selections was in 2008 when a 6-15-9 record meant it would pick third overall.
With the first overall pick, the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City) picked UCLA defender Chance Myers. FC Dallas followed by picking Texas high school standout Brek Shea. Next was Real Salt Lake with the third pick. With a hole at the right back spot and when MLS Commissioner Don Garber stepped to the microphone, it was to announce that RSL selected UCLA defender Tony Beltran.
A member of the Generation adidas class, Beltran was a standout in two seasons with the Bruins. A native of Claremont, Calif., he was a two-time High School All-American who played his first college season at St. John’s in New York before transferring back home to UCLA. An accomplished youth player, Beltran also figured prominently for the U.S. U-18 National Team that won the 2005 Milk Cup and the U-20 team that reached the quarterfinals of the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
With Real Salt Lake, Beltran started 10 out of 15 matches in his rookie season in helping RSL reach the postseason. He has since been a key contributor to RSL’s seven consecutive postseason berths, 2009 MLS Cup title, and runner-up finishes in the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League, 2013 MLS Cup and 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Now 27 years old, Beltran has 164 career appearances, including 151 starts. He also has 13 playoff appearances. He is entering his eighth MLS season with the Claret-and-Cobalt.
Real Salt Lake selected defender Ryan Neil in the first round of Thursday's 2014 MLS SuperDraft , drafting the University of California outside back with the 18th overall pick.
Check out highlights from Neil's four-year career at Berkeley above.
(And yeah, we're aware he's listed as a midfielder in the video. He'll line up as a defender for RSL.)
Real Salt Lake Analyst Brian Dunseth – a.k.a. the hardest working man in MLS – is in Philadelphia this week, where he’ll host the 2014 MLS SuperDraft from the Penn Convention Center on Thursday morning.
Dunny will be working the in-house crowd at the SuperDraft, but you’ll likely see at least a cameo or two of him on the ESPNews broadcast of the event, which will begin at 10 a.m. MT on Thursday. The SuperDraft consists of four rounds this year, with the first two rounds held Thursday in Philly and rounds three and four held next Tuesday via conference call.
Real Salt Lake has one pick on Thursday, with the Claret-and-Cobalt holding the 18th overall selection in the first round. RSL does not currently have a second round selection, but the team does have a pick in both the third and fourth rounds, owning the 53rd and 70th overall selections.
Make sure you tune-in to the SuperDraft on ESPNews on Thursday morning – and look for Dunny!
Real Salt Lake selected two palyers in Thursday's 2012 MLS SuperDraft, picking University of Maryland MF John Stertzer in the first round with the 12th overall selection and trading up two spots in the second round to grab University of New Mexico FW Devon Sandoval with the 29th overall pick.
Our Graphic Designer Ben Barnes has been hard at work putting all the information you need to know about Wednesday's MLS SuperDraft picks into a few awesome infographics. Have a look...
RSL traded up for the 29th pick in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft, choosing University of New Mexico alum Devon Sandoval. Sandoval spent a week training with RSL over the summer and obviously impressed the coaching staff enough to warrant a draft pick.
Sandoval was a Second-Team All-American during his senior season with New Mexico, and accumulated 28 goals and 17 assists over the course of his collegiate career.