Real Salt Lake: RSL nears sellout despite BYU-Utah clash
Sandy • There will be 60,000-plus fans in red and blue at Lavell Edward Stadium on Saturday night for the state's biggest rivalry game.
But Real Salt Lake isn't expecting a dearth of claret and cobalt at Rio Tinto Stadium.
This weekend's RSL clash with San Jose is going head-to-head with the final BYU-Utah matchup until 2016. RSL officials considered the possibility of changing the time of Saturday's game, ultimately deciding to stand pat with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Even with the Utes and Cougars playing at 8:15 p.m., Rio Tinto Stadium is within 1,000 tickets of a sellout, a team spokesman said Tuesday.
"We've done this in the past, a near-sellout or sellout," RSL coach Jason Kreis said. "I think it's a pretty clear indicator of where we are in our sport and where we are with the support in this community. I think all of us feel extremely proud and extremely pleased with that support."
Count RSL defender Nat Borchers among those who would be at Rio Tinto even if he didn't have to work.
"I'm not a college football fan," the avid Denver Broncos supporter said. "I honestly didn't even know that game was this weekend."
In and out
RSL could get some depth on the back line this weekend, but front line help seems to be further away. Center back Chris Schuler, who has been kept out of first team action since May because of a foot injury, practiced fully Tuesday and "could be available" this weekend, Kreis said.
Forward Alvaro Saborio, meanwhile, got through the technical work before leaving the training field early because of ongoing troubles with a calf strain.
"He's feeling fairly hesitant about the situation," Kreis said. "So I would say that one doesn't look nearly as good."
San Jose, RSL's next opponent, plays Tuesday night with its Champions League hopes on the line. The Earthquakes have already lost two games in the competition and must beat the Montreal Impact just to have a chance to stay alive.
"I would expect they put out an entire second team [Tuesday] and kind of put that one in the bag," Kreis said. "So I don't know we learn a whole lot from tonight."
San Jose at RSL
O Saturday, 7 p.m.
TV • CW30