Real Salt Lake will be without four regular starters for the month of July, as Alvaro Saborio, Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman and Tony Beltran have all made Gold Cup rosters.
Saborio, who had just returned to Utah after helping his national team to World Cup qualifying victories, leaves Utah again for Costa Rica on Thursday. Rimando, Beckerman and Beltran will join their U.S. teammates in San Diego on Monday.
“Anytime you have the opportunity to put on a U.S. jersey it means the world to a player,” said Beltran, who said July would be “without a doubt one of the most important months of my career.”
The players are expected to miss four MLS matches. But they will all be making an appearance at Rio Tinto Stadium. The U.S. hosts Cuba in Gold Cup play July 13 in Sandy. The second half of that doubleheader will feature Saborio and Costa Rica.
“It’s very exciting for me to play here in my stadium, with my fans and hopefully … we can win here the game for us,” Saborio said.
Rimando and Beckerman were a part of the U.S. roster that beat Honduras in World Cup qualifying at Rio Tinto. Neither one saw time on the field, though that could change in Gold Cup.
“It would be a great moment for me to represent the U.S. in front of my home fans and home stadium,” Rimando said. “We have a terrific fan base here, and if anybody from our team gets on the field, I’m sure the fans will go crazy.”