While Real Salt Lake is gearing up for a big home tilt against the Rocky Mountain Cup rival Colorado Rapids on Saturday, RSL forward Douglas Martinez is in Japan readying for a crucial match in the Olympics that kicks off at 2 a.m. MT on Sunday.
Honduras fell 1-0 to Romania in its first match of the tournament on Thursday, so earning points on Sunday will be critical for advancement out of Group B following New Zealand’s 1-0 win over South Korea. With New Zealand and Romania sitting atop the group with three points each, a win for Honduras on Sunday will do no worse than locking them in a tie for second in the group. As two teams advance from the group to the Round of 16, a win would put Honduras in a good position heading into the final match of the Group Stage against South Korea on Wednesday.
A FIRST FOR RSL
Already one game in, Martinez is in rare company among RSL players. He joins Chris Seitz (USA, 2008) as the only two active RSL players to every suit up in the Olympics and with his 90 minutes on Thursday, Martinez became the first active RSL player to ever play in an Olympic match. Previously, Real Monarchs winger Elder Torres also suited up for Honduras in 2016, but did not make an appearance in Honduras’ six matches. Additionally, former RSL center back and RSL Academy product Carlos Salcedo played in all three matches for Mexico at the 2016 Olympics.
In the club’s history, several players have come to RSL with Olympic experience under their belts. On the inaugural roster in 2005 alone, Dante Washington (1992), Eddie Pope (1996), Brian Dunseth (2000) and Chris Brown (2000) all represented the U.S. at the Olympics. In other years the club would add the likes of Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica, 2004) and Giuseppe Rossi (Italy, 2008) to its roster after previous Olympic experience.
Group B Standings
New Zealand (1-0-0, 3 points, +1 GD)
Romania (1-0-0, 3 points, +1 GD)
South Korea (0-1-0, 0 points, -1 GD)
Honduras (0-1-0, 0 points, -1 GD)
The top two teams from each group advance to the Quarterfinals.