Real Salt Lake finalizes their roster for the start of the 2012 Major League Soccer Season

Terukazu Tanaka makes the cut and is on the 2012 RSL roster

I can't remember a time in the last 5 years where so many question marks remained on the RSL roster just over a week before the MLS season kicks off. Between replacing the 9 players lost in the off-season, the injuries to current players, normal salary cap concerns, you can add the missing 2 international slots as major factors in the roster that Real Salt Lake will head into the 2012 season with.

You also have to remember that after today's rosters are submitted to Major League Soccer HQ for compliance with both the roster rules and salary cap, that tomorrow (Friday, March 2nd 2012) will be the MLS waiver draft. RSL fans should remember that it was the 2009 Waiver draft that brought Ned Grabavoy to RSL, I think that has turned out rather well.

I think the one thing that is clear from this off-season for RSL it has been about getting younger while trying to keep within the salary cap and to keep the team able to compete. That is no easy task, but given the quality and quantity of players who RSL is having to replace, I think they have done a great job. There are some exciting young players that I think the RSL nation will welcome into the family and I think will be difference makers this year as well as into the future.

Here is the official RSL press release:

REAL SALT LAKE FINALIZES 2012 ROSTER WITH EIGHT NEW SIGNINGS

New Crop of Claret-and-Cobalt Brings RSL's Complement of Players to 26 on Compliance Date

SANDY, Utah (Thursday, March 1, 2012) - Real Salt Lake today announced the signing of eight players to new contracts, finalizing the Utah side's 26-man roster on today's official date for MLS teams to reach salary budget compliance.

Click here to download a PDF version of the official 2012 Real Salt Lake roster

Today's batch of signings includes one Homegrown Player, four 2012 draftees and three trialists (please click hyperlinks to see player's full bio information on RealSaltLake.com):

  • FW Emiliano Bonfigli [MLS Supplemental Draft (17th overall pick); last played for Manta FC (Ecuadoran 1st Division)]
  • DF Leone Cruz (acquired rights via trade with Seattle Sounders FC; last played for Southern Methodist Univ.)
  • DF Diogo de Almeida [MLS SuperDraft (24th overall pick), Southern Methodist Univ.]
  • GK Lalo Fernandez [Homegrown Player, RSL-Arizona Academy]
  • MF Enzo Martinez [MLS SuperDraft (17th overall pick), University of North Carolina]
  • MF Jonny Steele [free transfer, Carolina Railhawks (NASL)]
  • DF Terukazu Tanaka [free transfer, Sagan Tosu (Japanese 2nd Division)]
  • MF Sebastian Velasquez [MLS SuperDraft (36th overall pick), Spartanburg Methodist College]

The rest of the press release and a look at the full roster after the jump

While RSL is keeping a core of 10 players that have been regulars in its starting lineup for the last five seasons - an MLS record - the new crop of Claret-and-Cobalt marks the largest influx of new blood since the roster overhauls of 2007 & 2008 that followed the installments of Head Coach Jason Kreis and General Manager Garth Lagerwey.

"As an organization, we couldn't be more pleased to officially welcome these players into our side, as we believe they represent all the characteristics the RSL shield stands for," said Lagerwey. "The caliber of the players that were fighting for roster spots during our preseason made for some difficult choices, but those are exactly the types of decisions you want to make when you're filling out a squad. This team will represent our fans proudly both on and off the field and should allow us to seriously contend for trophies on multiple fronts once again this year."

Today marked the deadline for all Major League Soccer clubs to be roster compliant. While a club may continue to add or release players from its roster or training camp, the club's official roster - players under contract - must remain within the MLS roster guidelines. Players waived today will be a part of tomorrow's Waiver Draft at 1:00 p.m. MT. Clubs that select a player who is not currently under contract during the Waiver Draft will be required to offer that player a contract. Clubs may not claim the right of first refusal for a player through waivers.


#

POS

Player Name

Age

HT

WT

14

M

Yordany Alvarez

26

5' 10"

165

27

M

Cody Arnoux

23

5' 10"

170

5

M

Kyle Beckerman

29

5' 10"

165

2

D

Tony Beltran

24

5' 8"

150

12

F

Emiliano Bonfigli

23

5' 10"

148

6

D

Nat Borchers

30

6' 2"

175

33

D

Leone Cruz

24

6'

172

3

D

Diogo de Almeida

23

6'

175

7

F

Fabian Espíndola

26

5' 9"

160

1

GK

Eduardo Fernandez

19

6' 3"

170

21

M

Luis Gil

18

5' 8"

155

20

M

Ned Grabavoy

28

5' 7"

160

8

M

Will Johnson

25

5' 10"

160

19

M

Enzo Martinez

21

5' 7"

160

11

M

Javier Morales

32

5' 9"

143

16

M

Nico Muñiz

19

5' 10"

155

4

D

Jamison Olave

30

6' 3"

210

23

F

Paulo Jr.

23

5' 7"

158

24

GK

Kyle Reynish

28

6' 3"

193

18

GK

Nick Rimando

32

5' 9"

184

15

F

Álvaro Saborío

29

6'

170

28

D

Chris Schuler

24

6' 4"

185

22

M

Jonny Steele

26

6'

180

53

D

Terukazu Tanaka

26

5' 8"

150

26

M

Sebastian Velasquez

21

5' 11"

155

17

D

Chris Wingert

29

5' 10"

155

So the 2012 season will start with just 26 players on the RSL roster, but I have to believe that before the April 16th Primary Registration Window closing that you may see a move or two being made. One huge question remains for me, as the team roster shows 9 International slots, clearly some updates are coming.

What do you think RSL nation? I hit this one right on the head yesterday.

OFF MY SOAPBOX

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join RSL Soapbox

You must be a member of RSL Soapbox to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at RSL Soapbox. You should read them.

Join RSL Soapbox

You must be a member of RSL Soapbox to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at RSL Soapbox. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker