SANDY, Utah – Five Real Salt Lake players have received international call-ups for the next round of FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches.
RSL captain Kyle Beckerman (U.S.), DF Tony Beltran (U.S.), DF Abdoulie Mansally (The Gambia), GK Nick Rimando (U.S.) and FW Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) have all departed Salt Lake City to be with their respective national sides ahead of this weekend’s qualifiers.
All five players will miss Real Salt Lake’s league match at FC Dallas on Saturday. The quintet will return to RSL following their international stints, with all five players expected to be available for the Claret-and-Cobalt’s March 30 home match against Seattle Sounders FC.
Beckerman, Beltran, Rimando and Saborio all played 90 minutes in RSL’s 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids on March 16. Mansally was suspended for the first-team match but played 90 minutes in RSL’s 2-1 Reserve League win over Colorado at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.
Beckerman, Beltran and Rimando will join the U.S. team in Denver for Friday’s Hexagonal match against Costa Rica at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Stars-and-Stripes will play Mexico at Estadio Azteca on March 26.
Beltran received his first senior cap on Jan. 29, starting and playing 45 minutes in the U.S.’s friendly match against Canada. Rimando and Beckerman were not in the U.S. squad for its Feb. 6 qualifier at Honduras, but were in the team for last October’s WCQ’s at Antigua & Barbuda and against Guatemala. Beckerman has one goal in 24 senior caps, Rimando has six senior caps and Beltran has one senior cap.
Tied for the MLS scoring lead, Saborio will also head to Denver, where he will join the Costa Rican national team ahead of Friday’s match against the U.S. Los Ticos will head home to Costa Rica following Friday’s game ahead of its March 26 home match against Jamaica. Saborio – who has all three of RSL’s goals this season – had a goal and an assist in Costa Rica’s Hexagonal opener at Panama on Feb. 6. The 30-year-old striker has 30 goals in 72 senior caps for Costa Rica.
Mansally and The Gambian national team will take on the Ivory Coast in the opening match of CAF Group C play on Saturday. The match is the first in the second round of CAF qualifying, which puts 40 teams into 10 groups of four, with the top team from each group advancing to the third and final round of qualifying. Mansally has 10 senior caps.