SANDY, Utah – Four Real Salt Lake players – MF Kyle Beckerman (USA), GK Nick Rimando (USA), FW Álvaro Saborío (Costa Rica) and MF Will Johnson (Canada) – have been called by their respective national teams for FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches on Oct. 12 and Oct. 16.
This is the third-straight FIFA break that all four of Beckerman, Rimando, Johnson and Saborio have been called-up to their respective national teams. They aren’t the only RSL players on international duty this time around, though, as18-year-old MF Luis Gil is with the U.S. U-20 team for the Marbella Cup in Spain.
Beckerman, Rimando, Johnson, Saborio and Gil all left RSL for international duty on Sunday, one day after the Claret-and-Cobalt’s big 2-1 win at the L.A. Galaxy. All five players will return to Real Salt Lake following their final international matches on Oct. 16. RSL’s next match is on Oct. 17 at Seattle Sounders FC.
Beckerman and Rimando will take on Antigua & Barbuda on the road on Oct. 12 before heading back stateside to face Guatemala in Kansas City on Oct. 16. The U.S. is currently tied for first with Guatemala in Group A and leading third-place Jamaica on goal difference with just two games left in this round. Only the top two teams from each group will qualify for the six-team final round that will take place in 2013.
Beckerman, RSL’s captain, has appeared 23 times for the U.S. and has scored once in international play. He started and came off as a second-half sub in the U.S. 2-1 loss at Jamaica on Sept. 7 and didn’t feature in the Americans’ 1-0 win over the Reggae Boyz in Columbus on Sept. 11.
Rimando has six career caps for the U.S. team. The 33-year-old ‘keeper backed up Tim Howard and Brad Guzan in the U.S.’s Sept. 11 win over Jamaica after missing the Sept. 7 game at Jamaica while with RSL.
Saborío, 30, will look to earn his 74th and 75th caps for Costa Rica when they take on El Salvador on the road on Oct. 12 and Guyana at home on Oct. 16. Los Ticos – currently in third-place in Group B – have a bit of work to do to qualify for the next round, needing to jump second-place El Salvador in the final two games in order to secure a place in the hexagonal.
Canada has called in Johnson – who will be looking for caps 30 and 31 of his career – for its qualifiers against Honduras and Cuba. Like Costa Rica, Canada needs to get good results at Honduras and home against Cuba to qualify for the hexagonal. The Canucks are currently tied on points in Group C with second-place Honduras but trail on goal difference.
Real Salt Lake’s next game is on Oct. 17 at Seattle. After that, the club will take on Costa Rican champions C.S. Herediano in a must-win CONCACAF Champions League match at Rio Tinto Stadium on Oct. 23 before closing out the MLS regular season at home against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Oct. 27.