Real Salt Lake signed defenders Tony Beltran and Chris Wingert to contract extensions and denied goalkeeper Kyle Reynish, midfielder Jonny Steele and forwards Paulo Jr. and Emiliano Bonfigli contract renewals.
RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey said he feels Wingert and Beltran were a crucial part of the team.
“Chris (Wingert) and Tony (Beltran) have both played integral roles in RSL’s success,” Lagerwey said in a press release. “As we redefine our team’s core, we feel that they’re two critical building blocks for our future. They’re standout players and individuals, and we’re thrilled to have them both back.”
Beltran was selected by RSL in the third overall pick of the 2008 Major League Soccer SuperDraft. In 2012, he started 32 times and played 2,857 minutes.
Beltran was grateful for the opportunity to continue here in Salt Lake.
“I just want to thank the organization for giving me their full support in representing this club in the future,” Beltran said in a press release. “I’d like to thank Head Coach Jason Kreis and the rest of the back room staff for helping me grow exponentially, both personally and professionally, every year. I feel privileged to be able to continue my career here, and I promise to give my all for the team and our amazing supporters.”
Wingert, who joined RSL in 2007 through a trade with Colorado Rapids, has played 31 games this season and played 2,603 minutes, making him the longest-tenured field player for the team.
He expressed enthusiasm about his future with RSL.
“I’m really excited,” Wingert said in a press release. “I’ve said all along that Real Salt Lake is where I wanted to be. I love all the guys on the team. It’s been a great five and a half years for me here, and I’m looking forward to being here in 2013 and beyond.”
Of the four contracts denied, Reynish and Paulo Jr. can re-sign with RSL by Thursday, the day before stage one of the re-entry draft. If the two players are not signed by this date, they will have one more opportunity to make a deal with RSL at the end of stage two of the re-entry draft. If a deal is not made by Dec. 14, then Reynish and Paulo will leave RSL when their contracts expire at the end of this year.
Steele and Bonfigli are not eligible for the MLS re-entry process and will leave the team at the end of the calendar year.