TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Roster Update
The future of a Real Salt Lake icon remains up in the air after the team announced its end-of-season roster moves on Thursday. Midfield stalwart and club legend Kyle Beckerman, MLS's all-time leader among field players in games played, is out of contract at the end of the season, though RSL indicated that they were in discussions with "a number of players" regarding a return to the roster in 2020.
Should Beckerman not return, the conclusion of 2019 would mark the end of an era for RSL, who already bid goodbye to retiring goalkeeper Nick Rimando and long-time right back Tony Beltran, who recently took a front-office job with the club. Beckerman, Rimando, and Beltran were the only players on the roster in 2019 who were also part of the club's 2009 MLS Cup-winning squad and have been synonymous with the team for over a decade.
In addition to Beckerman, defender Donny Toia, midfielder Kelyn Rowe and forward Sebastian Saucedo are all out of contract, while the club declined options on defenders Marcelo Silva and Danilo Acosta, midfielder Luke Mulholland and forward Joao Plata.
Meanwhile, the club exercised options on 11 players: goalkeeper Andrew Putna, defenders Justen Glad and Erik Holt, midfielders Everton Luiz, Nick Besler, and Justin Portillo, and forwards Corey Baird, Jefferson Savarino, Brooks Lennon and Tate Schmitt.
In addition to the return of those players, RSL also announced on Thursday that they had signed forward Maikel Chang from their USL Championship affiliate, Real Monarchs. Chang, 28, is the USL Championship's all-time assists leader, having racked up 39 helpers with Monarchs – whom he joined in 2018 — and the Charleston Battery after he defected from Cuba in 2013.
Should Toia and Silva end up departing, it would likely mean some new blood will join the backline for RSL in 2020. Toia, a left back, started all 24 regular-season games he featured in as well as both of RSL's playoff games, while Silva started 14 of the 19 games he played in and went the full 90 in RSL's playoff-opening win against the Portland Timbers.
Further up the field, Plata has been with RSL since 2013 and has made 175 regular-season appearances for the club, with 46 goals and 43 assists for the Claret-and-Cobalt. However, he fell out of favor in the 2019 season, starting just two of the 17 games he appeared in and recording a career-low 305 minutes played.
Mulholland, another familiar face at Rio Tinto Stadium, rarely featured for the RSL first team in 2018 and 2019, making just three appearances (one start), but ended up as a key figure as Real Monarchs, who claimed the USL Championship title last Sunday.