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RSL left unscathed in 2019 Expansion Draft

The only obvious option, Joao Plata, was left on the table.

MLS: MLS Cup Playoffs-Round One-Portland Timbers at Real Salt Lake Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake had no players selected in today’s 2019 MLS Expansion Draft, with hotly rated talents like Joao Plata and (checks notes) Nick Rimando being left on the table.

In all seriousness, the following players were available:

  • Alex Horwath
  • Nick Rimando
  • Tony Beltran
  • Luke Mulholland
  • Justin Portillo
  • Kelyn Rowe
  • Pablo Ruiz
  • Joao Plata

Of those, Plata and perhaps Rowe are the only players with a strong chance of being picked. Beltran and Rimando have both retired, and Horwath appears to potentially have done the same but quietly.

Mulholland might have been an attractive option two years ago, but a string of back injuries robbed him of MLS minutes.

Portillo may offer some value to Real Salt Lake, but he’s yet to demonstrate fully that he’s more than a midfield backup, while Rowe was a late-season trade to pick up a potential rotational player. Pablo Ruiz could someday be an attractive option, but he’s an international player and very much an unknown.

That leaves just Plata as the only option for selection, but smart money has the now-veteran attacking player leaving Real Salt Lake following the end of the season. While it’s conceivable he was a target for either Nashville SC or Inter Miami, losing him for free at the expiration of his contract would provide either team little value.