Real Salt Lake picks UConn forward and Michigan State defender in MLS SuperDraft
(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune)
Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen and General Manager Elliot Fall during a news conference at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Tuesday Dec. 3, 2019.
Real Salt Lake used both picks in Thursday’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft on two different types of players.
RSL picked forward Dayonn Harris with the 20th overall pick in the draft. He last played for the University of Connecticut.
The club then picked center back Michael Wetungu of Michigan State University with its 46th overall pick. Wetungu started 69 games in his four years with the Spartans and scored three goals.
“We are very excited to add two players that we had rated extremely highly on our draft board as two of the top prospects coming out of NCAA this year,” RSL general manager Elliot Fall said in a statement. “Dayonn is a proven attacking threat on the wings who will add to our list of young promising attacking players. Michael is a solid defender who we see translating to the professional level seamlessly.”
In three seasons with the Huskies, Harris scored seven goals and added 16 assists. He started 39 total games during that span.
Harris transferred to UConn from Penn State, where he started 18 games and had three goals and two assists as a sophomore. He spent the majority of his freshman year injured and played in six games with three starts.
Harris comes to an RSL team that is already loaded with veteran forwards like Sam Johnson, Corey Baird and Jefferson Savarino. While younger forwards like Tate Schmitt, Douglas Martinez and Julian Vasquez have all spent most of their time with the Real Monarchs, they have also gotten minutes with the first team.
Harris will more likely compete for a position with the Monarchs in his first season with RSL.
Wetungu adds depth and youth to RSL’s center back position, which currently includes Justen Glad, Nedum Onuoha, Erik Holt and Marcelo Silva.
Nashville SC, one of two expansion teams in 2020, picked former RSL Academy player Tanner Dieterich with the 28th pick. Dieterich spent four years at Clemson University.