Tony Beltran is one of few who truly embodied everything in Real Salt Lake. A class act on and off the field, Beltran was arguably one of the most honorable men to ever adorn the RSL crest. As he retires after twelve seasons playing for Real Salt Lake, we take a look back on his impressive career.
#10 - His send off
At halftime of RSL’s final 2019 home match Beltran was honored for his time with the club. He gave a speech that perfectly encapsulated his time with the club. Fans were able to see Beltran along with his wife and son for one final send off. In true Tony Beltran fashion he gave an eloquent and heart-string tugging speech. It was the sendoff he deserved.
#9 - His banter with Justen Glad
It’s not all that often that Beltran would be active on social media and joking around with his teammates. But if he did, it was usually to poke fun at the young guys. Even more of the time, it was poking fun at Justen Glad. One instance of this was when Jordan Allen and Glad decided to take up painting as a hobby.
When I found out that @justen_glad & @jayalllen had taken up painting as a hobby, I knew I had to have an original piece, but my art budget for the year only allows for one. Which should I purchase and hang in my home? pic.twitter.com/IwhO8K8xfN— Tony Beltran (@tonybeltran23) May 23, 2018
Or the time Glad decided to not quite take up reading as a hobby.
Beltran’s banter with some of the team was something beautiful. Glad specifically has mentioned how Beltran is the ultimate professional on multiple occasions, so it’s only fitting that Beltran tries his hardest to set him straight.
#8 - His USA caps
Although never a mainstay with the national team, Beltran had a handful of caps with the youth and senior national teams. This is just one more way Beltran did us proud. Not only representing the claret and cobalt to the best of his abilities but when called upon he represented the red, white and blue in the same manner.
#7 - Thank You & Goodbye, RSL Nation
On September 13 Beltran penned a heartfelt letter to the RSL fanbase entitled Thank You & Goodbye, RSL Nation in which he elaborated on his path to coming to Salt Lake, his gratitude for the city and ultimately his goodbye to the fans of Real Salt Lake. This letter encapsulates everything fans loved about Tony Beltran.
Towards the end of his letter Beltran writes to those who wished he could return, “I thank you, and I apologize, I’m heartbroken to let you down.” Beltran never let an RSL fan down. His dedication to this club is something that he showed in this letter, his play and his entire career. Salt Lake has never and will never be let down by Tony Beltran, regardless of how his career ended.
#6 - September 23, 2017
This was a day RSL fans didn’t know they’d see Tony Beltran play at the RioT for the last time. A fitting result, a 2-0 win over the Sounders, but still not how we’d hoped to say goodbye to him on the field. This 2-0 win though, would be the last time Beltran saw first team minutes in Utah. In addition to it being a shutout, that match was a big win over the team that would ultimately end up being in MLS Cup 2017.
#5 - 2 All Star Shouts
In 2013 and 2015 Beltran was included on the All Star rosters. Although not a surprise to most RSL fans as he was one of the most solid defenders we’ve ever had, it was an honor for another RSL man to get the All Star nod. Beltran played in both matches, one of which was a 2-1 win over the Tottenham Hotspurs.
#4 - “I’ll be right back”
“I’ll be right back” is a podcast that Beltran started in the 2018 season. Although short lived, this podcast turned book club was something that really allowed RSL fans to get a peak into the world of Tony Beltran. During a period we didn’t get to see him on the pitch, it gave fans a chance to still keep up to date on Beltran’s life. With guests like David Horst, Tyler Knight, Justen Glad and others, it was an educational yet comedic podcast that if you haven’t listened to, you may consider checking out.
The newest episode of I'll Be Right Back with Tony Beltran is up! RSL's athletic trainer Tyler Knight joins him to chat everything from World Cup memories to wedding day nerves.— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) July 13, 2018
LISTEN: https://t.co/fD8tJqgw00 pic.twitter.com/103fdCTgge
#3 - January 18, 2008
This day may have next to no meaning to RSL fans. It should though, this was the day of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. In Baltimore, Maryland Real Salt Lake would make the third pick of the day to sign a kid from UCLA, Tony Beltran. From this day until the day he retired Tony Beltran wore claret and cobalt. This is a rarity in sports and the fact that for so many consecutive seasons Beltran wore our colors and did us so proud is something to celebrate.
#2 - The lone goal
After the fact Beltran joked that this goal was the end of the most pathetic streak in MLS. It may have taken him 10 years but he finally did it. It wasn’t necessarily a flashy goal or an absolute banger but it was a skillful goal that gave RSL some life in their game.
#1 - THAT goal line clearance
Not many moments encapsulate Tony Beltran as well as this one. He came in clutch in the moments that mattered most. He played smart and was aware of where he needed to be at all times and saved us when we needed it more than ever.