Real Salt Lake is retaining one of its key long-standing players, as the club announced Tuesday it has re-signed defender Tony Beltran for the 2019 season.
“Tony is part of the fiber of this club,” RSL general manager Craig Waibel said in a statement. “Even as our roster evolves with a young core in place, it’s important to have players like Tony who are more than capable in their positions and excellent leaders in the locker room as well.”
Beltran will play his 12th Major League Soccer season next year with RSL, the organization that drafted him third overall in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. The 31-year-old is one of three Real players remaining from RSL's 2009 MLS Cup championship team, including midfielder Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando. Beltran is also a two-time MLS All-Star, in 2013 and 2015.
“I have heard some writers say that the only book that matters is the next one. Now I understand the same holds true in sports. For a long time I didn’t know if there was going to be another game, the next one, or where that game would be,” Beltran said in a statement. “Next year, RSL and I will continue the journey we started together 11 years ago. The next game will be here, in this city that means so much to me, a place that I’m proud to call home.”Comment on this story
He is also one of seven MLS players to play for only one team and start 230 career matches — Beltran has started 230 of his 245 regular-season appearances for RSL. That list includes CJ Brown (290, Chicago Fire), Cobi Jones (281, L.A. Galaxy), Osvaldo Alonso (266, Seattle Sounders FC), Logan Pause (253, Chicago Fire), Matt Besler (251, Sporting Kansas City) and Diego Chara (230, Portland Timbers).
“I am very happy that we were able to re-sign Tony,” RSL head coachMike Petke said in a statement. “He is someone that embodies the character, professionalism and playing ability that I want to represent this team.”