Real Salt will finish their 4-game, 11,000-mile, 3 competition road trip tonight as they will take on rival Sporting Kansas City in the Semifinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Tournament. The Claret and Cobalt started the road marathon in our nations capital on August 1st in a 6-4 loss to DC. From DC, the club traveled to Guatemala to face Municipal in the first game of Group G play in CONCACAF Champions League where they picked up a 1-0 win. From central America, RSL hit the airport to go to Canada to face the #1 team in the Western Conference, Vancouver Whitecaps where RSL lost 4-0. Jeff Cassar started 9 different players from the Tuesday matchup to Vancouver (Olmes Garcia and Elias Vazquez only consecutive starters). Mostly to rest players for this matchup as Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando, Javier Morales, Joao Plata and Tony Beltran did not travel to British Columbia. But it was also to give the younger players experience.
Fun fact, RSL and SKC are the only 2 MLS clubs to have appeared in both the Open Cup and MLS Cup final since 2009. RSL is looking to advance to the USOC Final for the first time since 2013 where they fell to DC United 1-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real Salt Lake is 11-10-1 all-time in Open Cup matches or qualifiers, 0-7-1 all-time away from home in USOC play and 0-5-1 all-time on the road against MLS opponents. Hopefully RSL can turn the tide. RSL is 2-0-1 this season against Sporting Kansas City, 0-0 draw in KC on April 11th and a pair of 2-1 wins on June 21st and July 24th at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Look for the Claret and Cobalt to come out rested and ready to go. Kyle Beckerman told Bill & OC on Monday that they need to finish the road marathon with a win.
Listen to that interview below.
Also, Technical Director Craig Waibel joined the guys on Tuesday pointing out that this match is very important.
Pregame coverage begins at 6pm with first kick at 6:30 and the only place you can listen to the match is on ESPN 700.
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