Real Salt Lake announces their pre-season roster

One has to wonder which of the new faces will be able to work hard enough to put a smile on the face of Jason Kreis? (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Well with 9 players from the 2011 season gone, the 2012 pre-season roster is crowded with some new names and faces, some draft picks, a trade, and some guys on trial. Today we got an update via Twitter that the loan of Yordany Alvarez is now a permanent move to Real Salt Lake, which is a big piece of the puzzle for me a quality younger player who adds some size, some bite, and toughness in the midfield.

RSL will face two issues with the group of draft picks and players in on trial, first is the salary cap and second is international spots. I know that some current RSL players are working on their green cards, as well as several of the guys in camp, but with just 6 slots to use it could be a determining factor as the pre-season goes along.

Here are the guys coming into RSL's pre-season training:

Goalkeepers (3): Lalo Fernandez, Kyle Reynish, Nick Rimando

Defenders (11): Tony Beltran, Samir Bengelloun, Nat Borchers, Leone Cruz, Diogo de Almeida, Wes Knight, Jamison Olave, Chris Schuler, Terukazu Tanaka, Donny Toia, Chris Wingert

Midfielders (12): Yordany Alvarez, Kyle Beckerman, Luis Gil, Ned Grabavoy, Will Johnson, Enzo Martinez, Javier Morales, Nico Muniz, Lewis Neal, Jonny Steele, Benjamin Ubierna, Sebastian Velasquez

Forwards (6): Chris Agorsor, Cody Arnoux, Emiliano Bonfigli, Fabian Espíndola, Paulo Jr., Álvaro Saborío

a number of players are nursing injuries:

MF Kyle Beckerman (R adductor strain), DF Nat Borchers (L quadriceps strain), MF Will Johnson (R adductor strain), MF Javier Morales (L Achilles tendonitis) and FW Álvaro Saborío (R knee microfracture). Johnson and Morales are expected to return to limited training in time for the open of RSL's Scottsdale-based camp next Tuesday.

After the jump you will find the roster as well as some additional bio info on some of the trialists:

Here is the full pre-season roster for RSL:

#

Player

Pos.

Birthdate

Hometown

College

Status

13

Chris Agorsor

FW

9/1/1990

Severn, MD

Virginia

14

Yordany Alvarez

MF

5/24/1985

Cienfuegos, Cuba

--

27

Cody Arnoux

FW

4/13/1988

Wilmington, NC

Wake Forest

5

Kyle Beckerman

MF

4/23/1982

Crofton, MD

--

2

Tony Beltran

DF

10/11/1987

Claremont, CA

UCLA

--

Samir Bengelloun

DF

2/2/1985

--

--

Int'l

22

Emiliano Bonfigli

FW

4/15/1988

Bahia Blanca, Arg.

--

Int'l

6

Nat Borchers

DF

4/13/1981

Pueblo, CO

Denver

33

Leone Cruz

DF

6/13/1987

Round Rock, TX

Southern Methodist

3

Diogo de Almeida

DF

1/2/1989

Piricicaba, Brazil

Southern Methodist

Int'l

7

Fabian Espíndola

FW

5/4/1985

Buenos Aires, Argentina

--

Int'l

1

Lalo Fernandez

GK

12/16/1992

El Paso, TX

--

Home Grown

21

Luis Gil

MF

11/14/1993

Garden Grove, CA

--

Gen. adidas

20

Ned Grabavoy

MF

7/1/1983

New Lenox, IL

Indiana

8

Will Johnson

MF

1/21/1987

Woodridge, IL

--

--

Wes Knight

DF

9/6/1986

--

Charleston

10

Enzo Martinez

MF

9/29/1990

Rock Hill, SC

North Carolina

Gen. adidas/Int'l

11

Javier Morales

MF

1/10/1980

Buenos Aires, Arg.

--

Int'l

16

Nico Muñiz

MF

10/18/1992

Albuquerque, NM

--

Home Grown

--

Lewis Neal

MF

7/14/1981

Leicester, England

--

Int'l

4

Jamison Olave

DF

4/21/1981

Medellin, Colombia

--

23

Paulo Jr.

FW

1/23/1989

Teresina, Brazil

--

Int'l

24

Kyle Reynish

GK

11/3/1983

Valencia, CA

UC Santa Barbara

18

Nick Rimando

GK

6/17/1979

Montclair, CA

UCLA

15

Álvaro Saborío

FW

3/25/1982

San Carlos, Costa Rica

--

D.P./Int'l

28

Chris Schuler

DF

9/6/1987

Aurora, IL

Creighton

--

Jonny Steele

MF

2/7/1986

--

--

Int'l

--

Terukazu Tanaka

DF

7/14/1985

--

--

Int'l

25

Donny Toia

DF

5/28/1992

Tucson, AZ

Pima CC

Home Grown

29

Benjamin Ubierna

MF

11/22/1991

Lima, Peru

--

Int'l

26

Sebastian Velasquez

MF

2/11/1991

Greenville, SC

Spartanburg Methodist

17

Chris Wingert

DF

6/16/1982

Babylon, NY

St. John's

So here is some additional info on some of the unknown players:

SAMIR BENGELLOUN

Position: Defender

Height: 5'11'' Weight: N/A

Born: February 2, 1985 in Paris, France

Citizenship: France

Last Club: Lokomotiv Plovdiv [Bulgarian A PFG (1st Div.)]

Professional Career: A left back that served on trial with Real Salt Lake for two weeks in June 2011 ... Most recently played for Locomotiv Plovdiv in the Bulgarian A PFG (first division), suiting up 18 times during their 2010/11 campaign ... Played at Locomotiv Plovdiv alongside his older brother, Youness ... Made 36 appearances for then-Cypriot First Division side APOP Kinyras Peyias, scoring once and helping the club to the 2008-09 Cypriot Cup title ... Began his career in the lower divisions of French soccer with Troyes AC (2003-05), AS Poissy (2005-07) and Levallois SC (2007-08)


#33 LEONE CRUZ

Position: Defender

Height: 6' 0'' Weight: 172 lbs.

Born: June 13, 1987

Hometown: Round Rock, Texas

Citizenship: USA/Mexico

College: Southern Methodist University

MLS Experience: Rookie

Last Club: Southern Methodist University (2010)

Pronunciation: lee-OH-nay

Acquired: MLS rights obtained from Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for rights for Andy Rose on Jan. 17, 2012

Selected by Seattle Sounders FC in the second round (21st overall) of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore, Mary., but was cut by Seattle during the 2011 preseason ... Featured twice for Real Salt Lake in MLS Reserve League action in 2011, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2-0 win at FC Dallas (8/09) and starting and playing 82 minutes in a 0-1 defeat at Houston (8/21) ... Also represented the FC Dallas reserves on a pair of occasions, going the full 90 minutes in back-to-back games on 10/02 at Colorado (1-5 L) and 10/05 v. Sporting KC (2-1 W) ...

Over his career at SMU, Cruz played in 67 games, scoring nine goals and adding five assists ... Named to the NSCAA Midwest Regional Second Team as well as the Conference USA Second Team in 2010 after helping lead the Mustangs to a 16-2-2 record, an Elite Eight appearance and a Conference USA Regular Season Championship ... Also named to Conference USA Second Team in 2008 and to the 2006 Conference USA All-Freshman Team ... Finished his Economics degree at SMU in the summer of 2011 ... Was in the U.S. Youth National Team pools at the U-15, U-16 and U-18 levels ... A five-year member of the Olympic Development Program growing up in Texas.


WES KNIGHT

Position: Defender

Height: 5'11'' Weight: 175

Born: September 6, 1986 in Easley, SC

Hometown: Easley, SC

Citizenship: USA

College: College of Charleston

MLS Experience: Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2011)

Last Club: Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS)

Professional Career: Made 12 appearances for Vancouver Whitecaps FC during the club's inaugural MLS season in 2011 before being released on Aug. 31 ... Served on trial with RSL in days following his Vancouver release, but was not picked up by the Utah side in advance of the Sept. 15 "roster freeze" date ... Began his professional career with the Vancouver Whitecaps out of the College of Charleston, signing with the club ahead of the 2009 season and playing a combined 76 games in official competitions (0G/10A) across the 2009 (USL-1) and 2010 (USSF D-2 Pro League) campaigns ... Also played for the Bradenton Academics in the USL Premier Development League in the summer of 2007 prior to his junior season at the College of Charleston.


LEWIS NEAL

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5'9'' Weight: 154

Born: July 14, 1981 in Leicester, England

Hometown: Leicester, England

Citizenship: England

Last Club: Orlando City S.C. (USL PRO)

Professional Career: Made move to the States and Orlando City S.C. of the USL PRO League in 2011, playing alongside current RSL'er Yordany Alvarez in midfield to help the first-year outfit capture the new league's championship last September ... Among Orlando City's leaders with 21 appearances (T-2nd amongst field players), 4 goals (3rd) and 3 assists (T-1st) ... Moved to Orlando City after two seasons (2009-2011) with Shrewsbury Town of the English Coca Cola Football League 2, making 31 of his 36 appearances during the 2009/10 season ... Joined Football League One club Carlisle United F.C. in January 2009, scoring once in 16 appearances during the second half of their 2008/09 season ... Was a regular contributor for Preston North End of the Football League Championship from 2005-2008, scoring five times across 73 league and cup matches during his three seasons with the Lilywhites ... Towards end of his PNE era, served a months-long loan stint for League Two squad Notts County F.C., beginning in Oct. 2008 ... After rising through the Stoke City youth system between 1998-2000, graduated to the first team and made 82 overall appearances (3 goals) in five seasons between 2000-05, during which the Potters played in the second and third tiers of English football ... Also got a taste of the Icelandic first division during a loan spell with IBV in 2001.


JONNY STEELE

Position: Midfielder

Height: 6'0'' Weight: ---

Born: February 7, 1986 in Larne, Northern Ireland

Hometown: Larne, Northern Ireland

Citizenship: Northern Ireland

MLS Experience: Vancouver Whitecaps FC (2011)

Last Club: Vancouver Whitecaps FC (MLS)

Professional Career: Began career with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2004, but failed to appear for the first team during their brief climb to the English Premier League ... Moved across the pond in 2004 and, after undergoing an unsuccessful trial with FC Dallas, landed for the season with the Syracuse Salty Dogs (9 GP, 1 goal) in the then-USL A-League ... Split 2005 between A-League's Rochester Raging Rhinos and Ballymena United of the Irish Premier League ... Returned to Rochester in 2006 before moving on to the expansion Carolina Railhawks of the USL First Division in 2007 ... Enjoyed great success during two-year stint with the Puerto Rico Islanders in 2008-09, his USL-1 MVP campaign in 2008 helping lift the Islanders to the league's championship (6G in 49 GP in two seasons) ... Made 23 appearances between the Vancouver Whitecaps (13 GP) and Tampa Bay Rowdies (10 GP) during the 2010 USSF D-2 Pro League season ... Rejoined Carolina for its 2011 season in the NASL, making 22 appearances while helping the squad to the league's regular season title ... Also spent time with professional indoor soccer outfits Kansas City Comets (2004-05), Baltimore Blast (2005-2007) and Philadelphia KIXX (2007-08)


TERUKAZU TANAKA

Position: Defender

Height: 5'8" Weight: 150 lbs.

Born: July 14, 1985 in Ibaraki, Japan

Hometown: Ibaraki, Japan

Citizenship: Japan

Last Club: Sagan Tosu (Japanese 2nd Div.)

Professional Career: Outside back has spent six seasons in the Japanese first and second divisions ... After going through youth system of Gamba Osaka (1998-2000), began professional career with reserve team of first division side Omiya Ardija in 2004 before moving up to first team in 2007 ... Played 10 games in 2007 and nine in 2008 before being loaned out to second division squad Yokohama FC ... Registered 41 appearances while on loan during 2009 season and, after move to Yokohama was made permanent in 2010, played another 12 contests ... Transferred to Sagan Tosu of J2 League in 2010 and played in 33 games between 2010-11 seasons, helping the squad win promotion to J1 in 2011.

As you can see RSL has cast a wide net looking for replacements for players that were lost in the off season, the question is how many of these guys make it out of the pre-season and who among them might be the next breakout player for RSL?

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