Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio (15) with the first half goal. Real Salt Lake and the L.A. Galaxy are 1-1 at the half during Saturday’s, March 22, 2014 home opener at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake: Next up? Star-studded Toronto FC
MLS » Bradley and Defoe are among the Reds’ new players.
First Published Mar 23 2014 04:38 pm • Last Updated Mar 24 2014 12:29 pm

Sandy • Between facing the L.A. Galaxy in the home opener and the much-anticipated trip back to Sporting Park for a rematch of last year’s 2013 MLS Cup final against Sporting Kansas City, Real Salt Lake faces a showdown that in previous years could be considered buffer match.

But this Toronto FC team set to roll into Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday certainly isn’t the Toronto FC of old. Coming off of its 1-1 draw against the Galaxy in the 2014 home opener, Real Salt Lake’s arduous early-season slate continues when Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe and the suddenly star-studded Reds make their only visit to Sandy in Week 4 of the regular season.

At a glance

Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

TV » Ch. 4

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"They’re all the rage right now," said defender Tony Beltran. "It’ll be an exciting game. I’m excited to play against a couple of big players in that new team."

And the offseason splash of signing American star Bradley from Italy’s AS Roma and English forward Defoe from Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League has been a sizable one. Toronto is off to one of the best starts in club history with back-to-back wins at Seattle and most recently at home against D.C. United. And Defoe has looked every bit as advertised as the striker has notched three goals, helping Toronto earn six points thus far.

"He’s fast," said defender Nat Borchers. "When you’re able to time your runs well like he does, and he’s able to get into good spots and he’s clinical. He’s like Robbie Keane, but with more pace, and that’s really difficult to account for."

As anticipated, it’ll be an upstart team RSL isn’t exactly familiar with. While American-based players may know Bradley’s game, Defoe, and Toronto’s other offseason Designated Player signing, Gilberto, will need to be scouted thoroughly ahead of the match Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.

"I saw a little bit of their game last week, but haven’t watched much of them," said RSL captain Kyle Beckerman. "I’m sure we’ll practice this week and look at some video and get a little bit more familiar with them."

Having already faced the Galaxy twice in three weeks — and taking four out of a possible six points against its Southern California rivals — RSL (1-0-2) preps for a string of matches that includes Toronto at home, away at Kansas City, away at Philadelphia and home against Portland.

"Especially at the beginning of the season, everyone has hope and belief," said midfielder Ned Grabavoy. "Whether you’re a team that did well last year and you’re looking to build off that or you’re a team that made a ton of changes and you’re hoping for better days ahead."

Toronto made countless changes, reportedly spending upward of $100 million to reel in Bradley, Defoe, Gilberto and others, and better days are at the forefront. And it’s paying off.


story continues below
story continues below

"It’s going to be a fun one," Borchers said.

ckamrani@sltrib.com

Twitter: @chriskamrani



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.