With the signing of Ricardo Velazco from Real Monarchs, Real Salt Lake now holds six homegrown players on their roster.
This restores the team to six — they were previously set at six until Fito Ovalle left the team some months ago. Ovalle recently signed a single-year contract at third-division Italian side Fidelis Andria.
He's also the third player at the club to make the jump from Real Monarchs to Real Salt Lake; he was preceded by Emery Welshman and, more recently, Chris Schuler.
Acosta has spent his 2016 with Real Monarchs, but it's hard to imagine he's not still on the radar for the long-term. It's rare that you can find a biting, hard-nosed defensive midfielder at Acosta's age, but here he is.
We've said more words about Jordan Allen over the past three years than matches he's played, but with his 2016 form, he's continuing to show why the hype machine has, for some years, built around him. If we can keep him at RSL in the long-term, we'll be considerably better off for it.
This young goalkeeper is still yet to make a first-team appearance, but Lalo is still one for the future. He's a smart net-minder, a solid shot-stopper, and a young up-and-comer.
If you'd told me that Glad would become a starter in his second year at the club — aged only 19 — I probably would have wondered whether something went wrong or if he'd jumped in quality enough to do so. He was a good player in 2015, but his 2016 campaign has been more of an instance of the latter rather than the former.
While Kavita has mostly been a Monarchs mainstay, he's looking more and more like he could break into the RSL first team in the next two years. That's likely to come as a backup to Aaron Maund and Justen Glad, largely because he doesn't present anything different than the two of them. He's a very good physical defender, and he reads the game well — and given he's still young for a defender, don't be surprised if he takes the place of Jamison Olave next year.
Mexican side Veracruz may have Saucedo in the short-term (and potentially in the long-term), but Saucedo is a Real Salt Lake player on paper. One of the most talented attacking players the academy produced, Saucedo seems committed to playing for the U.S. National Team in his future. Will he return at the end of the year? Perhaps only time will tell.
The new guy: Velazco is the latest entry to this list. We're excited about this addition.
Former homegrown players
One of the more interesting stories to come out of the academy, Toia's journey to MLS went through Real Salt Lake as their first homegrown player, then right back out again into USL. He eventually ended up in Montreal, where he's been a good left back. When fit, he generally starts matches. Maybe someday we can bring him back — but can you imagine if we'd had Real Monarchs available when he came out of the academy?
Signed in 2011, Muñiz was a midfielder that failed to make an appearance for RSL. At last accounting, he was playing for Albuquerque Sol FC in PDL — but that was 2015. He was waived at the end of 2012 and later trialled with New York Red Bulls.
One of the best goalscorers from the academy, Lopez never played a game for Real Salt Lake — sensing a pattern with some of these early signings? He's now at Santos Laguna, playing for their second division side.
Salcedo's rise has been meteoric: He joined Real Salt Lake, agitated his way out to Chivas in Mexico, and is now joining Fiorentina on loan. He's a remarkable player.
As above, Ovalle joined a third-division club in Italy. He'd been on a leave of absence for some time from Real Salt Lake for personal reasons, and he never played a first-team game. He had, however, played in quite a few Real Monarchs matches.