RSL and the Supplemental Draft from 2005 to 2009: Diamonds in the rough hard to come by

Otto Greule Jr

With rounds three and four of the MLS draft process coming up on Tuesday, we’ll look at the history of Real Salt Lake’s picks in the Supplemental phase, in two parts. A few sleepers exist in the later rounds, but there are even more busts.

2005

Steven Rhyne (1st Overall)

John Ellinger was rather high on Rhyne when he was drafted. The midfielder had a great touch on the ball, and his versatility was seen as an aid to Ellinger’s style of play. Rhyne never made it out of RSL’s trial period, though, and was released in preseason.

In April 2005, Rhyne signed with the A-League’s Atlanta Silverbacks after the USL-1 draft. He made several appearances off the bench for Atlanta that year, scoring a couple of goals. It’s not clear when exactly he left the Silverbacks or the sport, but it’s certain his professional career is over.

Where is he now:  Rhyne is currently an account manager at an office supply company in Atlanta.

Michael Lookingland (13th Overall)

Lookingland’s college career was spent at Bucknell, a pretty solid D3 school in central Pennsylvania. He spent two summers with the now-defunct Chesapeake Dragons of the PDL before being selected in the second round of the Supplemental Draft by RSL.

Beginning that same year, he started a career with the Baltimore Blast indoor team where he has featured in 144 matches over the course of several years. His time in Salt Lake, however, was limited to two seasons and only one appearance in 2005.

In 2007, Lookingland went back east, joining the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL. After just a season, he moved back to his native Maryland and joined fellow USL-2 club Baltimore Crystal Palace.

Where is he now:  Deciding to move to the coaching ranks in the outdoor game, he’s been an assistant with the PDL’s Baltimore Bohemians since 2012. He also continues to play for the Blast in the off season.

Noah Palmer (25th Overall)

Palmer was a teammate of Lookingland with the Chesapeake Dragons in 2004. Searching for goalkeeper depth, Ellinger chose the University of Maryland alum as a third string behind DJ Countess and Jay Nolly (also drafted in 2005). Palmer’s 2005 season was cut short by a shoulder injury, and he saw no MLS minutes.

In May 2006, Palmer was traded to Columbus for forward Duke Hashimoto. Ironically, Hashimoto was selected in the 2006 draft with a pick originating from RSL in the trade that landed Jason Kreis from FC Dallas.

He finished the 2006 season in Columbus with 10 starts and a 1-5-4 record. He was waived during 2007 preseason.

Where is he now:  Palmer is now Director of Merchandising at Old Navy in San Francisco.

Cameron Knowles (37th Overall)

The first Akron player to be drafted into MLS, Knowles made four appearances for RSL in 2005, but none in 2006. After being released at the end of 2006, Knowles joined the USL-1’s Portland Timbers where he stayed until 2010. He won the USL-1 Defender of the Year award in 2007.

A leg injury in 2009 sidelined him until the Montreal Impact picked him up in 2011. He played eight games for the Impact until they, too, were promoted to MLS.

Where is he now:  Knowles must’ve loved his time in Portland. The New Zealand national signed on as an assistant coach with the Timbers in January 2012, and is yet another tie to the Caleb Porter/Akron Zip network in the Rose City.

2006

Jeff Rowland (2nd Overall)

The first of a couple University of New Mexico players to be drafted by RSL, Rowland spent much of his club time in the midwest with the Indiana Invaders and Chicago Fire Premier of the PDL.

Rowland was pegged to be a value pick in that year’s Supplemental Draft, but his career in Salt Lake was cut short by a right ACL tear in 2006 preseason. His luck with that right knee wasn’t to be as he again suffered a tear to the ACL in 2007 preseason. He was waived by RSL in May as the Kreis era began.

Rowland was again signed by the club a year later only to be released in February. His first real action of his professional career finally came when he signed with the USL-2 Wilmington Hammerheads in 2008, seeing 18 games and scoring five goals.

Another stint in MLS came with FC Dallas, but he was relegated to the bench and was waived at the end of the 2008 season.

Where is he now:  Rejoining the college game, Rowland has been an assistant coach with the University of Washington since 2011 (a connection to now-assistant RSL coach Craig Waibel). Prior to this post he served as assistant at Creighton University.

Willis Forko (14th Overall)

The Liberian-born Forko was an outside back for UConn in his college days. As a member of RSL, he notched 38 games and was a fairly stable element of the backline under both Ellinger and Kreis.

As the renovation of the team continued under Kreis, the left back was released at the end of 2007. His next stop was Vancouver for the 2008 USL-1 season where he made zero appearances. A mid-season transfer to Norwegian club FK Boda/Glimt saw him get as many minutes as his Huskies days for the first time, playing 60 games. He stayed in Norway until 2010 when he made a reappearance with the Whitecaps, finally seeing game time, albeit limited.

Forko was not retained as Vancouver was elevated to MLS.

Where is he now:  Now a resident of Houston, Texas, Forko is a coach with the Albion Hurricanes youth program.

Chase Harrison (26th Overall)

To my surprise (and maybe yours, too), Harrison has been around the league longer than I thought. The West Virginia native played no games for RSL in only a single season with the club, primarily because he was stuck behind three other GK’s.

After being released at the end of 2006, Harrison jumped around for the next several years at the following American teams:  Rochester, Portland, Harrisburg, Crystal Palace Baltimore, Richmond, DC United, and Columbus. His MLS stints came as a pool goalkeeper for the league.

Returning for a second stint to the City Islanders in 2011, his 23 league games was rewarded with a call up to the Philadelphia Union. He played third string once again, but remained on the roster through 2012. Two rounds of the 2012 Re-Entry Draft saw him unattached, becoming a free agent.

Where is he now:  Since the end of 2012, it’s unclear where Harrison’s at. The only certainty is that he’s still officially unattached to a club.

Chris Lancos (41st Overall)

Another native West Virginian, Lancos made headlines after he was drafted for opting to sign for 1.FC Kaiserslautern’s youth squad. He made 21 appearances for the German team, but was allowed out of his contract in January 2007.

Lancos subsequently rejoined RSL for the following season, but only played in 14 matches that year. His playing career looks to have ended that year as well.

Where is he now:  All indications point to Lancos returning to finish his degree, this time at the University of Florida, and is now an account manager for Symantec in San Francisco.

2007

Haddon Kirk (17th Overall)

The NC-State midfielder was released by RSL in the 2007 preseason. His playing record is largely vacant, but he did appear on the New York Athletic Club roster for the 2011 NPSL season.

Where is he now:  Kirk currently resides in NYC and works as a financial advisor for Citigroup.

Jared Kent (28th Overall)

A midfielder at Old Dominion (and former college teammate of David Horst), Kent was a staple for the PDL’s Virginia Beach Piranhas in 2006 and 2007. He was the second of the 2007 Supplemental picks to be let go by RSL in preseason.

Where is he now:  Unknown.

Kyle Reynish (43rd Overall)

Perhaps one of the biggest signings for RSL to come from the Supplemental Draft, Reynish garnered much fan support as Nick Rimando’s backup over the six seasons he spent with the club. While only getting eight MLS matches under his belt during that time, he was the ever-patient ‘keeper. He spent a single loan spell with USL-2’s Charleston in 2010, playing three games.

As goalkeepers Josh Saunders and Jeff Attinella were signed ahead of 2013, Reynish was released by the club and entered into the 2012 Re-Entry Draft. After not being selected, he became one of the first players signed to the New York Cosmos as they prepared to enter the NASL later that year. Reynish made his mark in the 2013 Fall season as he led the Cosmos to an 8-1-4 record with five shutouts. Topping it all off was the Golden Glove Award and the NASL Soccer Bowl title, a 1-0 win over Atlanta.

Where is he now:  As of January 10th of this year, Reynish is back in MLS with the Chicago Fire, backing up current GK Sean Johnson.

Dustin Kirby (49th Overall)

Ohio native Kirby was heavily involved in Cleveland area youth soccer clubs during his youth. He was a solid defender for Ohio State University, and played a single season with PDL’s Cleveland Internationals in 2004.

Kirby’s stay with RSL lasted two seasons and played in as many matches over that time. In November 2008, he was released from the club. His playing career ended at that time as well.

Where is he now:  Back in Ohio, Kirby is now a senior account executive at an IT company in Columbus.

2008

Tino Nuñez (17th Overall)

Like Reynish, Nuñez came from UC Santa Barbara where he was both a runners-up and champion of NCAA D1 soccer. He started the 2008 season on reserve duty where he showed his knack for scoring. His first nine games for the first team were consecutive, coinciding with RSL’s best run of form that season with a 4-1-4 record in the stretch. His contributions were also felt in US Open Cup, registering an assist against San Jose. While only netting a single goal in a total of 12 games, Nuñez showed he was more than capable of making a career in the sport.

After a loan spell to Harrisburg in 2009, Nuñez was released by RSL as they prepared for the next campaign. In April of 2010, he signed with Rochester of the USL. He moved to Minnesota in the NASL for the 2011 season, but dropped again to the third division with Pittsburgh the following year.

After a season with the Baltimore Blast indoor team (winning a championship), he returned to his hometown of Long Beach, California to coach his high school’s girls team for one season.

Where is he now:  Although he made it known he would not return to playing, Nuñez joined the Ontario Fury this past October where he’s made a return to the indoor game.

Kevin Reiman (31st Overall)

A New York native and a Michigan State criminal justice grad, Reiman stayed on with RSL for just one season, making no appearances with the first team. He was released in the 2009 preseason, but continued to train with the club’s reserve team.

He began coaching a boys high school team in Michigan in 2009. He signed on with the Army soccer program in 2010 and remained there until 2013.

Where is he now:  As of June 2013, Reiman is an assistant coach for Seattle Pacific University.

Kenny Anaba (45th Overall)

Anaba hailed from the University of Cincinnati where he was a member of the All-Big East team for three straight seasons. He was a rather prolific goalscorer for the Bearcats, but it never translated to MLS, being cut from RSL in the preseason. He trialed briefly with the DC United reserve team in 2008, but never stuck on.

Anaba joined a former Bearcats teammate in the Puerto Rico Soccer League (Carolina Gigantes FC) in 2009, but it was short-lived.

Where is he now:  Returning to his native Ohio, Anaba now works in the financial sector as an analyst and consultant.

2009

Due to roster constraints on developmental slots, no Supplemental Draft was held this year.

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