Real Salt Lake has had some memorable players come from the draft, and others who never made it to the squad. As such, I present my picks for RSL's top draft picks of all time. Now, I know several of our picks have gone on to other teams and done well, but picked players who have made the biggest contribution in Salt Lake.
#1 - Tony Beltran
Tony was the #3 pick in the 2008 SuperDraft as a Generation Adidas player. In his first few years he played mainly as backup for Robbie Russell. After the Russell transfer to DC, Beltran locked down the RB position, and has done exceptionally well earning him an All Star selection in 2013, where he played the full 90 against AS Roma.
In 2014 he got his first call-up to the USMNT, and has now been capped three times for both WC Qualifiers and the Gold Cup. While he has yet to tally his first goal, he has made some very memorable saves — perhaps none greater than the clearance vs Seattle in the 2011 playoffs.
#2 - Chris Schuler
Schuler was drafted 39th in the 2010 SuperDraft, and made one appearance in a regular season game; although he also played in a CONCACAF Champions League and US Open Cup game match totaling an official 243 combined minutes for his first year. He did play several more games during CCL 'tune up' friendly games (338 minutes overall).
He started picking up regular minutes starting in 2011 as a backup, mainly for Olave, and during CCL matches. During regular season play he also notched 2 goals. Then he got hit with the beginnings of a foot stress fracture which benched him from May until September. The same issue would return in 2013 where he missed another 4 months. Schuler returned in time for the playoffs and tallied 2 goals on the run to the MLS Cup. Finally back to full health in 2014 he became one of the strongest CB's in the league, pairing with Borchers to tie the 3rd least goals allowed.
#3 - Jeff Attinella
Attinella was picked 14th in the 2011 SuperDraft, but was released during preseason. He went on to play that year for the Tampa Bay Rowdies and became their first choice GK after an injury sidelined their former keeper. RSL came calling again after the 2012 season ended, and was signed as the 3rd GK behind Rimando and Saunders — that is, until Saunders went down with a season-ending injury while Nick was away on USMNT duty. Jeff would fill in for 4 additional games, recording a 1-2-1 record and 14 saves.
Attinella picked up 10 starts during the 2014 season while Rimando was once again on USMNT duty, and performed admirably. Although his final stats for the year finished at 2-4-4; he ended up with 45 saves, 2 PK saves, and 3 shutouts.
#4 - Sebastian Velasquez
Velasquez was a surprise 36th pick in the 2012 SuperDraft coming out of a small Junior College. In his first regular season game that year against LA, he immediately proved his worth by sending in a cross which caromed off an LA player for an own goal. Seba went on to play 403 minutes his rookie year taking 7 shots and thrilling fans with his technical ability.
His highlight year came in 2013 starting 9 games for 892 minutes. He didn't tally a goal but notched 3 assists, and 20 shots. Velasquez would finally record his first goal in the 2013 playoffs to secure the win against LA. His first regular season goal came at the end of 2014 vs San Jose. During the run-up to 2015 he was traded to NYCFC.
#5 - Jean Alexandre
Picked 12th in the 2009 Superdraft, Alexandre only picked up 99 regular season minutes as a substitute during his rookie season. That year he was also named to the Haitian National Team for the Gold Cup and made one appearance (he now has 18 caps overall according to the Haiti National Team page). During 2010-2011 he proved valuable to RSL during both regular season and CCL games. He played for 1,197 combined minutes, tallied one goal, and two assists. His 2011 goal vs Vancouver made GOTW and went deep into the GOTY voting.
Jean was traded to San Jose for the 2012 season where he played only 2 matches, then loaned to Orlando for 2013. He currently plays as a CB for Malaysian team Negeri Sembilan FA.