HERRIMAN, Utah (Monday, December 6, 2021) – Real Salt Lake today announced several roster moves, returning 20 players – including 10 from the Club’s Academy/Monarchs homegrown pipeline – from the 2021 squad, which posted a 15-15-7 record across both MLS regular-season and MLS Cup Playoff competitions. Today’s announcements arrive on the heels of a dynamic, inspiring and historic run to the Western Conference Final for just the fifth time in Club history, and the first since 2013.
2021 Real Salt Lake MVP and Golden Boot winner Damir Kreilach is currently under contract and will return for 2022, along with 2021 acquisitions FW Rubio Rubin, FW Bobby Wood, MF Jonathan Menendez and Toni Datkovic.
Six Homegrown Players – DF Justen Glad, DF Aaron Herrera, DF Bode Davis, DF Zack Farnsworth, GK Jeff Dewsnup and FW Chris Garcia also are slated to return next season, as is the midfield group of Pablo Ruiz, Nick Besler and Bret Halsey. GK Zac MacMath is under 2022 contract as well.
Real Salt Lake has exercised the options on a total of five players – including GK David Ochoa, D/M Andrew Brody, MF Maikel Chang and DF Erik Holt, a quartet who came through the Club’s development pipeline of RSL Academy and/or Real Monarchs SLC – as well as DF Marcelo Silva.
Meanwhile, RSL has declined contract options for eight players: DF Donny Toia, DF Ashtone Morgan and DF Noah Powder, as well as FW Milan Iloski, FW Tate Schmitt and MF Justin Portillo, along with international attackers Douglas Martinez and Jeizon Ramirez.
Three veteran players – MF Albert Rusnák, winger Justin Meram and MF Everton Luiz – are each currently out of contract. However, Real Salt Lake is actively engaged with 2021 Captain and Slovakian international Rusnák about a potential long-term return, while possibilities remain for Meram and Everton.
The loan agreement with Liga MX side Atletico San Luis for FW Anderson Julio will soon expire. However, the Club is currently in discussions regarding his transfer options and contract.
As of Dec. 6, 2021, Real Salt Lake's current roster headed into 2022, listed alphabetically by position, is as follows:
Goalkeepers (3): Jeff Dewsnup, Zac MacMath, David Ochoa
Defenders (8): Andrew Brody, Toni Datkovic, Zack Farnsworth, Justen Glad, Bret Halsey, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Marcelo Silva
Midfielders (4): Nick Besler, Maikel Chang, Damir Kreilach, Pablo Ruiz
Forwards (5): Bode Davis, Chris Garcia, Jonathan Menendez, Rubio Rubin, Bobby Wood
Key MLS Offseason Dates / Roster Mechanisms:
- Sun., December 12 – Half-day trade window
- Tue., December 14 – MLS Expansion Draft
- Wed., December 15 – End-of-Year Waivers
- Wed., December 15 – Free Agency opens
- Fri., December 17 – Re-Entry Process, Stage 1
- Thu., December 23 – Re-Entry Process, Stage 2
- Tue., January 11 – 2022 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas
Real Salt Lake closed out its 17th season in Club history Saturday, falling 0-2 to Portland in the Western Conference Final. Led by Interim Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni, RSL won two consecutive road matches against rivals Seattle and Sporting Kansas City – part of an overall four-game road win streak to close out the year – before the loss at Portland, finishing the year just one game shy of the MLS Cup Final.
RSL returns to regular-season action on Sunday, February 27 to kick off the 2022 campaign at Houston Dynamo FC to open the Club’s 18th season. The following weekend, on Saturday, March 5, the Claret-and-Cobalt will return to Rio Tinto Stadium to host Seattle Sounders FC for the Home Opener. RSL in 2021 earned a 9-4-4 home record and set a new Club mark for most consecutive home wins, earning seven straight victories at the RioT.
2022 Season Tickets can be purchased at www.RSL.com/tickets, or by calling 844.Real.Tix.
ABOUT REAL SALT LAKEReal Salt Lake’s 17th Major League Soccer season has concluded, the Utah side advancing to the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the 11th time in the last 14 years.
The club's MLS Cup 2009 victory marked the state of Utah's only major professional championship in nearly 40 years, the title preceding an historic run to the 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League Final. Buoyed by a passionate base boasting several thousand season ticket holders, RSL has enjoyed a prominent home-field advantage – posting a dominant 145-43-46 (Win-Loss-Draw) record across all competitions at home (2.06 points per game for a 0.771 win pct.) – since building its permanent Rio Tinto Stadium home in Sandy 13 years ago.
In 2015, the club expanded its development pyramid with the addition of Real Monarchs SLC, one of several MLS-operated clubs playing in the USL Championship, the United States' Division II setup. The Monarchs boast a pair of titles in its brief history, as the 2017 USL regular-season champions, later winning the USL Final in 2019. For the 2022 season and beyond, Real Monarchs will compete in the newly-launched “MLS NEXT Pro” as part of a joint United States and Canada endeavor to complete the professional player pathway by connecting youth academies in MLS NEXT to first teams in Major League Soccer.
The entire RSL pyramid, which includes the RSL Academy’s U-15 and U-17 teams, calls the expansive Zions Bank Training Center in Herriman, Utah their daily training home. With five world-class grass fields, two indoor turf fields, a residential dormitory, the STEM-based RSL Academy High School and the 5,000-seat Zions Bank Stadium located on a 42-acre campus, Utah’s sporting future is bright.
Added in 2020 was the elite RSL Academy basketball program, already earning accolades internationally for its vision, mission and accomplishments.
The RSL Community Foundation was established in 2016, created with the goals of being active in the community year-round, utilizing the popularity and reach of RSL and the Monarchs in promoting health and wellness in children throughout the region, engaging supporters of soccer to raise funds and volunteer time for various local initiatives.