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Real Salt Lake: Big risk equals big reward for Yordany Alvarez
MLS » Midfielder is living his dream after defecting from Cuba.

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In all, 15 players have defected from Cuba during games in the United States over the past decade.

Alvarez said he talks to friends and family in Cuba whenever he can and hopes one day he can return to his country. For now, though, he’s reveling in the freedom and the opportunity that his risk four years ago has afforded him, knowing now that all that fear he felt that dark night in Tampa was worth it.

At a glance

Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas

At Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy

Kickoff » 7 p.m.

TV » CW30

Radio » 700 AM, 1600 AM, 102.3 FM

Records » RSL 8-3-2, FC Dallas 3-7-4

Regular-season series » FC Dallas leads, 11-7-3

Last meeting » RSL 1, FC Dallas 1 (April 25, 2012)

About RSL » It’s riding a five-game unbeaten streak and has won four straight home games. … Forward Alvaro Saborio and Fabian Espindola each has four goals to lead the team. … It has never lost to FC Dallas in four games at Rio Tinto Stadium, and has won five straight meetings at home by a combined 13-4 score. … Midfielder Javier Morales is likely out with a quadriceps injury, while defender Chris Schuler is out with a stress fracture in his foot. Defender Chris Wingert also is uncertain with a strained hamstring, with back-up Terakazu Tanaka poised to start in his place, if necessary. … Goalkeeper Kyle Reynish is expected to make his second straight start in place of Nick Rimando, who’s away along with midfielder Kyle Beckerman playing for the U.S. national team.

About FC Dallas » It’s riding an eight-game winless streak after a 2-1 loss at Chicago on Wednesday, and is 0-5-1 on the road. … Forward Blas Perez leads the team with four goals and three assists, but missed the previous meeting with RSL with a suspension. … National-team midfielder Brek Shea will miss the game as part of a three-game suspension, while midfielders David Ferreira and Ricardo Villar, and defenders Ugo Ihemelu and Herman Pertuz are among those out injured. … Dallas has allowed a league-worst 21 goals and registered only one shutout all season.

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He has a green card.

He is a legal, permanent resident of the United States.

"My dream came true," he said, smiling.


Twitter: @MCLTribune

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