RSL has already made a splash this offseason by trading Alecko Eskandarian and Atiba Harris, in addition to agreeing in principal to contracts with an American defender playing abroad, an Argentine midfielder and a Colombian defender.
On Friday, it has already added three more elements to its 2008 roster overhaul.
The fourth-year Major League Soccer club selected UCLA midfielder Tony Beltran with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2008 SuperDraft, followed by Old Dominion defender David Horst at No. 14 and U.S. Under-17 National Team forward Alex Nimo at No. 17.
Beltran is a 5-foot-9 junior midfielder out of UCLA, and a member of the Generation adidas program. As a member of the Generation adidas program, his salary will not count toward RSL's approximate $2.1 million salary cap in 2008.
Mock drafts had Real Salt Lake going with defender Julius James out of Connecticut, but instead the club decided to shore up its midfield with Beltran. The Claremont, Calif., native played his freshman year at St. John's before transferring to UCLA for his sophomore and junior seasons. In 2006 he started 21 games, finishing with one assist. Last year he started 21 matches adding two assists.
RSL has one pick remaining, No. 37 overall.
Kansas City opened the draft by selecting UCLA midfielder Chance Myers, a member of the Generation adidas program. The No. 1 pick originally belonged to San Jose, but it dealt the pick to the Wizards in exchange for veteran defender Nick Garcia.
Brek Shea, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound midfielder, went No. 2 to FC Dallas. Shea is a member of the U.S. Under-17 National Team, and is regarded as a very fast wide midfielder.
Horst will provide immediate depth for RSL at center back, checking in at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds. He was a four-year starter at Old Dominion.Nimo, 17, is a native or Portland, Ore., and was a Parade All-American high school player last year. At 5-foot-5, he isn't a very big forward, but his resume is impressive already at such a young age. He started in all four games for the U.S. at last summer's FIFA U-17 World Cup.
2008 MLS SuperDraft
1. Kansas City Chance Myers, MF, UCLA
2. FC Dallas Brek Shea, MF/DF., U-17 National Team
3. Real Salt Lake Tony Beltran, MF/DF., UCLA
4. L.A. Galaxy Sean Franklin, DF, CS Northridge
5. Colorado Rapids Claran O'Brien, MF, UC Santa Barbara
6. Columbus Crew Andy Iro, DF, Liverpool, England
7. Chicago Fire Patrick Nyarko, FW, Virginia Tech
8. FC Dallas Josh Lambo, GK, U-17 National Team
9. Toronto FC Julius James, DF, UConn
10. Toronto FC Pat Phelan, MF/DF, Wake Forest
11. Kansas City Roger Espinoza, MF, Ohio State
12. Chicago Fire Dominic Cervy, GK, Tulsa
13. New England Rob Valentino, DF, San Francisco14. Real Salt Lake David Horst, DF, Old Dominion
15. San Jose Shea Salinas, MF, Furman
16. New York Eric Brunner, DF, Ohio State
17. Real Salt Lake Alex Nimo, FW, Under-17 National Team
18. New England
19. FC Dallas
21. L.A. Galaxy
22. FC Dallas
23. Kansas City
24. D.C. United
25. Kansas City
27. New England
28. L.A. Galaxy