Real Salt Lake took more steps towards solidifying its roster as MLS First Kick 2010 approaches, today announcing the signing of GK Tim Melia and DF Chris Schulerto developmental contracts and the waiving of D/M Raphael Cox. Today's moves put Real Salt Lake's roster at 24 players just nine days in advance of its 2010 season opener at the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, March 27 (7:00 p.m. MT, live on Fox Soccer Channel).
Melia joined up with Real Salt Lake just prior to its first preseason camp in Arizona following two seasons with the Rochester Rhinos of the then-USL First Division. The 23-year-old Melia, who will challenge Kyle Reynish for back-up duties to incumbent starter Nick Rimando, showed well last season for the Rhinos, posting a 0.97 goals against average in 14 appearances (6-3-7) in league play in addition to notching a pair of wins in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play that helped Rochester reach the competition's semifinal round.
The 22-year-old Schuler becomes the second of Real Salt Lake's 2010 MLS SuperDraft picks (3rd round, 39th overall) from back in January to sign with the club, joining MF Collen Warner. The Aurora, Ill. native is one of the best defenders to ever come out of the storied Creighton University program, the 6'4" center-back starting all four years during his collegiate career with the Bluejays and being named to the All-Missouri Valley Conference First-Team in each of his last three seasons.
Cox departs Real Salt Lake after one season in Utah, the left-sided winger appearing in six contests (two starts) and scoring once across 208 minutes of action during his rookie MLS campaign. Cox got the chance to make his professional debut in front of his friends and family last March when RSL opened its campaign at Seattle Sounders FC and scored his lone goal of the season on July 18 in the second half of a 1-3 road defeat at the Columbus Crew.
TRANSACTIONS: Real Salt Lake signs goalkeeper Tim Melia and defender Chris Schuler to Developmental contracts; waives D/M Raphael Cox
#1 TIM MELIA
Height: 6' 1''
Weight: 190 lbs.
Born: May 15, 1986 in Great River, NY
Hometown: Great River, NY
Citizenship: United States
College: Lynn University (Fla.)
MLS Experience: 1st Season
Last Club: Rochester Rhinos (2009)
#28 CHRIS SCHULER
Weight: 195 lbs.
Born: September 6, 1987 in St. Louis, MO
Hometown: Aurora, Ill.
College: Creighton University
MLS Experience: Rookie
Last Club: Creighton University (2009)