On This Date: Jan. 18, 2008 - RSL drafts Tony Beltran

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.