Guess who rounded out the number one spot in the RSL Soapbox contributors' player ratings? You guessed it. Tony Beltran. He ended up with a 8,9 rating after the five of us chimed in.
It's hard to argue that he was not the most consistent performer for Real Salt Lake in their mostly disappointing season. Beltran showed up to play game in and game out and solidified his leadership position in the club as a veteran. Tony has been in Salt Lake longer than the vast majority of his teammates and when many were ready to hang their heads and call it a season, he kept pushing. He was candid in his assessment of how things were going and what needed to happen for RSL to turn the ship around. There were times when his forthrightness was reminiscent of how Will Johnson used to speak in public.
Nobody seemed bothered more with the letdowns than Tony and nobody shined like he did for the entire campaign. His mistakes were few and far between and he battled against the likes of Gyasi Zardes and other top MLS forwards and more of then than not came out ahead. He is one of the best in MLS if not of any American player in one on one defending. His top shelf play earned him a roster spot on the MLS All-Star Team, and rightfully so. He and Nick RImando were the sole representatives from Real Salt Lake. Along the way, Beltran frequently contributed to the attack and notched a couple of assists by the end of the year.
Tony Beltran: Congratulations on your ironman status and on your nod as RSL Soapbox's 2015 player of the year.