RSL DF Tony Beltran Announces Retirement In Letter To Fans

Sep 15, 2019, 12:45 PM
Tony Beltran #2 of Real Salt Lake kicks the ball during their game against the Portland Timbers at ...
Tony Beltran #2 of Real Salt Lake kicks the ball during their game against the Portland Timbers at Rio Tinto Stadium April 19, 2014 in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

SANDY, Utah – Longtime Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran has decided to retire at the end of the 2019 season, his 12th with RSL.

Beltran wrote a heartfelt letter to RSL fans talking about his journey to being a professional soccer player and why he is retiring.

The 31-year-old from Claremont, California has not played since he suffered a severe knee injury against the Colorado Rapids on October 15, 2017.

Beltran was drafted by Real Salt Lake in 2008 from UCLA. He has appeared in 245 matches, including 230 starts, scoring one goal and dishing out 12 assists and was a part of 68 shutouts as a defender.

The Major League Soccer veteran was named to two All-Star teams and played with the United States Men’s National Team in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, playing in one match in their title run. His first call up to the National Team was in December 2012.

He also played for the U.S. U-18’s, U-20’s and U-23’s.

“The end of this season marks twelve years that I have been a part of Real Salt Lake,” Beltran stated in his letter. “It will also be my last. I arrived in this city at the age of twenty; foolish, confident, and ready to make my mark in the soccer world. I never gave any thought to the possibility of staying here my whole career. A small excitement to see snow, sure, but setting or season were mere backdrop to the primary focus.”

“The end brings peace and understanding,” Beltran mentioned. “All those nights chasing shadows in the dark, they were leading me where I was meant to be. To the most beautiful place on earth, home.”

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