We continue our march to the opening of the 2017 MLS season on March 4 at Rio Tinto Stadium when Real Salt Lake hosts Toronto FC with a look at 10 reasons to join us at the RioT. Today we look at two players who will be playing their tenth seasons with the Claret-and-Cobalt, as defenders Chris Wingert and Tony Beltran reach double-digits with RSL.
Both players came to the team during its transition from perennial basement-dwellers to consistent competitors for postseason glory. Wingert joined in the summer of 2007 in a midseason trade with the Colorado Rapids for a pair of supplemental draft picks. Beltran came a few months later in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft.
Not long after, both became staples in RSL’s defense and while Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave all earned MLS Best XI honors in 2010 when the club allowed just 20 goals in a 30-game season, Beltran and Wingert also started in 17 and 22 games, respectively, playing a crucial role themselves in the stellar defensive season.
They have remained impactful players throughout their ten seasons – Wingert took a one-year hiatus with New York City FC in 2015 – and join a short list that includes only Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando and Javier Morales among RSL players to play ten seasons with the club.
They will join that exclusive company when the season kick off March 4 against Toronto FC at Rio Tinto Stadium. Join the crowd as they honor Beltran and Wingert for their decade of service throughout the season.