Chris Schuler has been in an RSL uniform since 2010 but in 8 seasons has only played 96 games. On Monday Real Salt Lake announced they would not be exercising any options for Schuler’s contract in the 2018 season, leaving us with nothing to look at but what could have been.
At the beginning of his time with RSL he had a lot of promise. Starting in 16 games in his first full season with Salt Lake, many fans thought he could be our future at center back. People constantly would peg him as a future USMNT player. He then became a regular starter, starting in 25 games in the 2014 season. It was after the 2014 season that things started to head downhill for him.
Schuler, 30, has struggled for a while now to find his way into a consistent rhythm of play. This is largely due to the large amount of injuries he has suffered. He spent nearly all of 2015 and 2016 out because of one injury. In those two years he played just 721 minutes of soccer.
On April 21, 2015 RSL was announced that Schuler would have to get a meniscectomy, what was then hoped to be for just 4 to 6 weeks. As he was recovering from that injury he broke a bone in his left foot and underwent surgery. This surgery ultimately was season-ending and would cause him to miss play for an estimated 4 to 6 months. Schuler played on April 4, 2015 and then didn’t play another match for Real Salt Lake until July 11, 2015. He played 90 minutes on July 11th and then didn’t play again until May 5th, 2016 with the Real Monarchs. After his injury, Schuler was offered a contract with the Real Salt Lake USL affiliate team the Real Monarchs. He stayed with the Monarchs for just half a season, 9 games, before being signed back to a first team contract with Real Salt Lake after they were plagued with injuries late in 2016.
Chris Schuler was able to get back with RSL for a little over a year but still struggled with injuries throughout 2017. Although he won’t be with Salt Lake in 2018, there are some places his career could take him. He may go back with Real Monarchs or another USL team. Schuler may also try and find an NASL team, or he may decide to just retire from professional soccer. Whatever the future holds for him, we wish the best for him.