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How the 2001 Miami Fusion and the 2002 contraction defined Real Salt Lake

As we await the 2014 Dispersal Draft coming today, we take a look back at three people who have made indelible impacts on Real Salt Lake and how one dispersal draft saw them spread across the league.

Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

In 2001, Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Brian Dunseth, and Jeff Cassar were all a part of the ill-fated Miami Fusion. In 2002, they were spread unceremoniously across the league.

Nick Rimando was easily the star of the show, going third in the allocation draft, which pitted teams with excess allocation against each other in a bid to pick up the most valuable players from the departing Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny.

After that nine-spot allocation draft, with an order determined by the MLS Competition Committee, another draft took place, and this is the one we are going to see today: the dispersal draft.

Beckerman (14 minutes) and Cassar (90 minutes) made only one appearance each for the Fusion that year. Dunseth beat them with a measly 10 matches under his belt. But all the same, their talents were recognized by Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, and Columbus Crew, respectively.

The dispersal draft saw Beckerman drafted 11th, Cassar 15th, and Dunseth a notable 7th.

Now, with Chivas departing — and the league not actually contracting — we might see something similar. Four players who have impacted Real Salt Lake in wildly different ways were involved then.

Rimando has become one of the best goalkeepers in MLS, and Beckerman one of the best midfielders. Cassar's impact has been obvious, becoming head coach this year, and Brian Dunseth's off-the-field involvement with the team's broadcasting has made him a solid national television contributor and one of the expert personalities around the club.

Will anybody from this draft end up at Real Salt Lake? It's hard to say if anyone does immediately, but 2002 should be a reminder that even players cast off in unfortunate circumstance can hoist themselves above the fray.