SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, December 18, 2018) – Real Salt Lake announced on Tuesday that the club has re-signed veteran DF Tony Beltran, bringing the two-time MLS All-Star and 2009 MLS Cup champion back for his 12th season with RSL.
“I have heard some writers say that the only book that matters is the next one. Now I understand the same holds true in sports. For a long time I didn’t know if there was going to be another game, the next one, or where that game would be,” Beltran said. “Next year, RSL and I will continue the journey we started together 11 years ago. The next game will be here, in this city that means so much to me, a place that I’m proud to call home.”
Originally selected by Real Salt Lake with the third overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, Beltran has spent his entire career with RSL. Since making his debut in April of 2008, he has been a staple in the RSL lineup, starting in 230 of his 245 regular season appearances. From 2012-2016, he averaged 28 starts and over 2,500 minutes per season, making him a mainstay in Salt Lake’s starting XI over that stretch. In his career, he has one goal – which came in 2017 - and 12 assists while establishing himself as one of the premier 1v1 defending outside backs in the league. For his efforts, he was named to the MLS All-Star teams in 2013 and 2015 and made three appearances for the U.S. National Team in 2013 and 2014.
“Tony is part of the fiber of this club,” RSL General Manager Craig Waibel said. “Even as our roster evolves with a young core in place, it’s important to have players like Tony who are more than capable in their positions and excellent leaders in the locker room as well.”
Beltran, 31, is among three players remaining on the roster from RSL’s 2009 MLS Cup championship team, along with MF Kyle Beckerman and GK Nick Rimando. He is one of five players in club history to play 10 seasons with the club, joining Beckerman, Rimando, Javier Morales and Chris Wingert.
“I am very happy that we were able to re-sign Tony,” RSL Head Coach Mike Petke said. “He is someone that embodies the character, professionalism and playing ability that I want to represent this team.”
He is one of seven players in MLS history to play for just one team and start 230 career matches, on a list that includes CJ Brown (290, Chicago Fire), Cobi Jones (281, LA Galaxy), Osvaldo Alonso (266, Seattle Sounders FC), Logan Pause (253, Chicago Fire), Matt Besler (251, Sporting Kansas City) and Diego Chara (230, Portland Timbers). Among those players, only Brown, Pause, Besler and Beltran have only been under contract with their MLS clubs in their professional careers. Additionally, Wade Barrett played 234 matches for the San Jose Clash/Earthquakes and Houston Dynamo when San Jose was relocated prior to the 2006 season.
Transaction: Real Salt Lake Re-Signs Free Agent DF Tony Beltran.