by Johnny Teixera |
The MLS conducted their 11th expansion draft last week where Real Salt Lake put up eight players for selection by Austin FC. Luckily for RSL, Austin FC did not decide to select any of their players, making them all eligible to return to the squad. Last week, the Real Monarchs bolstered their roster, adding two international players in Kevin Saucedo and Max Mata. Saucedo is a Columbian centerback coming over from Colombian Categoria Primera A side Millonarios.
“Under the guidance of Jamison and our coaching staff, Kevin has the talent potential to mature into a special player,” F.C. Assistant general manager Tony Beltran said.
The Monarchs’ other addition, forward Max Malta, came over from Switerland’s Grasshoppers Club Zurich. Malta adds excellent athleticism and pristine attacking to the Monarchs after he was able to accumulate five goals in ten appearances last season with Grasshopper. Two seasons ago when Malta was on a loan with Nõmme Kalju FC, he tallied 10 goals and six assists in 20 appearances.
“Max is a dynamic young attacking player, capable of scoring with both feet and in the air,” Beltran said. “He joins the Monarchs not only as an accomplished and competent professional but also at a time in his career with tremendous capacity for future development. We are excited to see his progression under the tutelage of our club staff.”
The End of an Era
Easily the biggest news to come out of Real Salt Lake this offseason is the retirement of RSL legend, midfielder Kyle Beckerman. He was traded to RSL in 2007, starting a 14 year span in Utah highlighted by a 2009 MLS Cup victory against the LA Galaxy. Beckerman will never be forgotten for his time in Utah, on or off the field. He was a vital part to the greater RSL community and was even named the Jordan Guernsey Humanitarian of the Year from 2018-2020. Many hope to one day see Kyle Beckerman back on the sidelines for Real Salt Lake as a vital part to the coaching staff. On his retirement, Beckerman was pleased.
“I came to Utah knowing there was a mountain to climb but feeling we could get to the top with a team that valued hard work, belief in ourselves and commitment to one another,” Beckerman said. “We succeeded together, and I lifted a trophy for each one of you who believed in us. We created a foundation on which RSL Nation will rest for years to come. There are so many people to thank over 21 years. I appreciate all of the teammates I’ve battled with on the field and the coaches who put their trust in me. Thank you to all of the fans who never wavered though the highs and the lows, under sunny skies and through rain, sleet to and snow. Most of all, I’m grateful to my family who have been my biggest supporters. My love for the game comes second only to you, and I know there is plenty to look forward to in this next chapter.”
Featured image courtesy Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News