Wingert: "I'm very excited to sign another contract"

RSL DF talks extension, key departures, hopes for 2013

Real Salt Lake's roster is in the midst of a shakeup, but one familiar face is glad to know he is not a part of it.

Defender Chris Wingert has signed a two-year deal to stay with the club and couldn't be any happier about it.

"I'm very excited to sign another contract with RSL," Wingert told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Thursday. "I made it clear that I want to be here for as long as they want me. I love playing with this team. I like the style of play, and it has been a great organization to be around."

Wingert’s signing comes during a wild week in Salt Lake City when three key players who figured prominently in the  team’s recent success – defender Jámison Olave, midfielder Will Johnson and striker Fabián Espíndola – were all traded away to make room under the salary cap for 2013.

"It is a little difficult to see some of these core guys go, guys that we have been playing with for the last four or five years," he said. "It does make it tougher because we have been together for a long time, but we know this is a business. With where we were at with the salary cap, I don't really think there was much choice. We knew there were going to be changes."

Despite the loss of Olave – who was shipped the Red Bulls along with Espíndola for allocation money – Wingert insisted that the team’s vaunted defense should be as stingy as ever in 2013 with the return of youngsters Chris Schuler and Kwame Watson-Siriboe.

"I feel really confident in our defense," he said. "Anytime you lose a guy of Olave's skill and talent it is going to be tough, but we have a good group still together, and with the way the whole team contributes on defense, I think we are going to be just fine."