No team in MLS has a better surge going into July than Real Salt Lake … no, not even the Portland Timbers, although Caleb Porter’s team is doing wonderfully, too.
And it’s great for RSL supporters that their team has collected so many points lately, now unbeaten in nine straight (in all competitions) after today’s 1-0 win at Toronto.
Including two home matches in U.S. Open Cup play, Jason Kreis’ team is 6-0 in June with a goal-scoring margin of 17-2. Not too bad. Add it all up, and a team on a semi-rebuild for 2013 is top of the West going into the bulk of Round 18 matches tonight. (Portland and Dallas, the closest pursuers, both own games in hand.)
Saturday’s win at BMO Field on Yordany Alvarez’s fashionable strike just before intermission was especially important for what is about to happen. Monday, four important RSL men will leave for Gold Cup duty.
Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman will join outside back Tony Beltran and goalkeeper Nick Rimando (pictured) for Jurgen Klinsmann’s United States side. And striker Alvaro Saborio will depart for Costa Rican duty.
Rimando and Beckerman are likely starters for the United States, which plays a friendly against Guatemala next week in San Diego, then launches Gold Cup play four nights later in Portland against Belize. (The United States schedule is here.)
With Gold Cup quarterfinals set for July 20 and 21, and the tournament playing out over the next week from there, the three are sure to miss three MLS matches and quite likely all four set for July.
Here is Alvarez’s important game-winner Saturday at BMO Field near downtown Toronto: