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RSL’s SuperDraft, 2007-2008: Where are they now?

RSL drafted six players in 2007 and 2008 along with a number of trades and one tampering incident involving then-Dallas goalkeeper coach Jeff Cassar. Let’s look at how it all ended up.

Soccer - MLS SuperDraft Photo by Andy Mead /Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

The 2007 MLS SuperDraft was the third and final draft for RSL under the direction of John Ellinger who was replaced by Jason Kreis on May 3, 2007. 2008 was the first full year under Jason Kreis and RSL took another giant step forward and qualified for their first ever playoff spot finishing at third in the Western Conference with a 10-10-10 record and 40 points.

The 2007 SuperDraft was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, on January 12, 2007.

Round One

Pick #4 - Chris Seitz (Generation Adidas)

MLS - Real Salt Lake  - Head Shots

As RSL had just acquired Freddy Adu and Nick Rimando in a trade with DC United on December 11, 2006, the selection of Maryland goalkeeper Chris Seitz with the fourth pick of the draft didn't seem to make any sense to fans and pundits alike. RSL general manager Steve Pastorino explained that Rimando, "won't be RSL property for much longer," and arranged a trade of Rimando to New York Red Bulls on February 9, 2007, only to make a another trade to get him back on February 23 following the sudden retirement of first-choice keeper Scott Garlick.

As the new backup goalkeeper Seitz appeared in only 3 games during 2007 for RSL but did featured for the U-20 USMNT at qualifying and in the 2007 U-20 World Cup in Canada where the US team fell in the round of 8 to Austria. Seitz failed to make any appearances for RSL in 2008 (Rimando started all 30 matches) before returning to appear in 4 matches in 2009 along with a couple of appearances while on loan to Portland Timbers and Cleveland City of the USL First Division. Unable to beat out Rimando, Seitz was traded to the expansion Philadelphia Union on November 25, 2009.

Seitz spent the 2010 season with the Philadelpia Union before being picked up by Seattle Sounders FC in second stage of the 2010 Re-Entry draft. Immediatley upon signing Chris wast traded to Dallas where he has been ever since. Seitz put his soccer career on hold for a brief time in September 2012, despite having no guaranteed contract for the upcoming 2013 season, when he elected to donate bone marrow to save the life of a random stranger for whose bone marrow he was a match. He was also named the MLS Humanitarian of the Year in 2012.

Round Two

Pick #17 - Traded

This natural pick was traded during 2005 to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for forward Jordan Cila who left RSL after the 2005 season where he made 12 appearances.

Round Three

Pick #30 - Steven Curfman

MLS - Real Salt Lake  - Head Shots

Curfman did not make a single appearance for RSL and was released at the end of the 2007 season. He went on to play for the Carolina Railhawks (USL First Division) in 2008 and the Wilmington Hammerheads (USL Second Division) in 2009 before leaving professional soccer for coaching and soccer administration.

Round Four

Pick #43 - Traded

This natural pick was traded to FC Dallas in 2005 for the rights to defender Brian Dunseth who had last played for Bodens BK in 2004. Dunseth made 24 appearances and scored 2 goals for RSL during the 2005 season before being traded to Chivas USA for Douglas Sequeira and Christian Jimenez during the off season. After his retirement from professional soccer in 2006 Brian went into broadcasting and has become an analyst for RSL games and several national networks.

Pick #48 - Traded

Real Salt Lake briefly acquired this additional pick during the 2007 SuperDraft from FC Dallas in exchange for a fourth-round selection in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. Later on draft day the pick was traded to New England in exchange for forward Kyle Brown. Brown made 8 appearances and scored two goals for RSL during the 2007 season before being waived at the end of the season.

2008 SuperDraft held in Baltimore, Maryland, on January 18, 2008

Round One

Pick #3 - Tony Beltran (Generation Adidas)

2008 MLS SuperDraft Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The third pick in the SuperDraft has long been held to be the most productive for long-term MLS talent and RSL's only pick in this sport has only served to strengthen that opinion. Tony Beltran from UCLA immediately challenged for a starting spot making 10 starts in his 15 appearances in 2008. He has gone on to become a fixture at right back for RSL with a total of 224 appearances by the end of 2016. Notably for a defensive player he has received only a single red card in nearly 250 appearances in all competitions for the Claret and Cobalt.

Tony has represented the US at the U-20 and U-23 levels before making 3 starts for the full USMNT in 2013-2014 for a total of 207 minutes.

Arguably the best draft pick ever made by RSL, the only question remaining in his long and much loved career is if, or when, that first MLS goal will arrive. While he has scored twice in US Open Cup play he has yet to find the back of the net in MLS.

Off the pitch Tony likes to read and has an interest in history. During the winter of 2011 Tony performed in a full-on three-minute routine with Ballet West choreographed by Ballet West Principal Michael Bearden where he juggling a ball with two ballerinas dancing around him. Shortly before Christmas of 2016, Tony was married with a host of current and ex-RSL players as groomsmen.

Pick #14 - David Horst

Santos Laguna v Real Salt Lake Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/MLS via Getty Images

Real Salt Lake acquired this second first round pick and forward Alecko Eskandarian from Toronto FC in exchange for forward Jeff Cunningham. Due to the emergence of the Jamison Olave-Nat Borchers center back tandem beginning in 2008 Horst made only three appearances for RSL during his three years with the team from 2008-2010. He spent most of 2009 and 2010 out on loan and made 10 appearances for the Austin Aztex 2009 and 29 appearances for the Puerto Rico Islanders won the USSF Division 2 Professional League Championship on October 30, 2010 against the Carolina Railhawks.

David was selected by the Portland Timbers in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft on November 24, 2010. He spent the next three years with the Timbers making 16 appearances in 2011, 22 appearances and 20 starts in 2012, but then only 2 appearances in 2013. On December 17, 2013, Horst was dealt to the Houston Dynamo in exchange for a 4th-round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft when he again became a starter and fan favorite while averaging 300 appearances each of his three years there. He is currently without contract for the 2017 season.

Round Two

Pick #17 - Alex Nimo (Generation Adidas)

MLS Cup - Los Angeles Galaxy v Real Salt Lake Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

At a height of only 5'5" the diminutive Alex Nivo's only appearance with Real Salt Lake was in an exhibition with Santos Laguna in 2008 where he also scored a goal. During 2008 he was also a regular with the USMNT U-20 squad. Under a Generation Adidas contract with RSL from 2008-1010 he spent the entire 2009 and 2010 season on loan to the Portland Timbers playing in the USL First Division at that time. He had made 46 appearances for them over the two years, but was released at the end of the 2010 season.

His only professional experience since that time was with several lower division teams in Poland and Estonia during 2012 and 2013.

Round Three

Pick #31: - Removed by MLS for tampering

SOCCER: AUG 09 MLS - DC United at Real Salt Lake Photo by Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon SMI/Corbis via Getty Images

FC Dallas was awarded this natural pick on June 6, 2006 along with a second-round selection in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft as compensation by the league for Real Salt Lake violating league procedure and business etiquette in speaking with and hiring Dallas goalkeeper coach Jeff Cassar. The league also fined RSL $20,000. When asked about the situation by a local newspaper, the only comment by the team officials was: "We are done talking about it. It was talking that got us into this in the first place."

Pick #37: - Brennan Tennelle

Tigres UANL v Real Salt Lake Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/MLS via Getty Images

Real Salt Lake acquired this additional pick from Chivas USA on December 20, 2007 in exchange for forward Atiba Harris. A native of San Diego, Brennan played midfield at UCSB prior to being drafted. He failed to make a single appearance for RSL during the 2008 season and was released by the team in March of 2009. Brennan then went into coaching serving as the Head Coach of the San Diego Soccer Club boys team for three years from 2010 to 2013 and then moving on to become an assistant coach at San Diego City College from 2013 to the present.

Round Four

Pick #45: Traded

FC Dallas acquired this natural pick from Real Salt Lake during the 2007 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for the 48th pick in that draft.

Pick #51: Traded

RSL briefly had this additional pick but it was traded to the New York Red Bulls on February 23, 2007, along with a fourth-round selection in the 2009 MLS Supplemental Draft for goalkeeper Nick Rimando who had just been traded to New York earlier that month.