Real Salt Lake could be missing big names in Dallas
Texas has been trouble, whatever the reason.
Real Salt Lake has failed to win a point in more than 20 trips to the Lone Star State. And if RSL is to cure those woes in Dallas on Saturday, it will likely have to be without some of the team's biggest names.
Forward Alvaro Saborio will be off with the Costa Rican national team. Without Saborio, who has scored all three of Salt Lake's goals this season, RSL (1-1-1) will have to find someone else willing to step up and test a Dallas squad that gave up three goals to Chivas USA earlier this year.
And with the injury to the United States' starting goalkeeper, Tim Howard, RSL's Nick Rimando appears in line for a call-up of his own. Last week, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann told reporters Rimando would likely back up Aston Villa goalie Brad Guzan.
A loss, while not unexpected, would certainly be a blow to RSL.
"If you had to pinpoint a top performer for this first three matches, [Rimando's] name would certainly be at the top of the list of considerations," coach Jason Kreis said after Rimando's late heroics preserved a 1-1 draw against Colorado.
Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman has also seen regular duty in the Klinsmann era, leaving RSL with a hole to plug in its midfield.
Similarly, defender Abdoulie Mansally could receive a call-up from the Gambian team.
Mansally missed the match against Colorado after being suspended by Major League Soccer for a head-butt earlier in the season against D.C. United.
Real could see reinforcements from other places, though.
Midfielder Javier Morales has been training with the team, inching toward a return after a knee injury and surgery sidelined him early in the preseason. Defender Nat Borchers, who has been rehabbing after a quad injury, saw time on the field with RSL's reserves Saturday night in a 2-1 win over the Rapids.
And midfielder Ned Grabavoy, who missed the season's first two games due to a family matter, returned to action on Saturday as well, coming on as a second-half substitute for Khari Stephenson.
Kreis said it was "pretty clear to me that his fitness level is struggling a little bit" but added that he hoped to see Grabavoy available for all 90 minutes against Dallas.
RSL at FC Dallas
P Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
TV • Ch. 4