This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Real Salt Lake's preseason kicked off Friday, as players returned to Utah for physicals ahead of a six-week training camp.
RSL, not quite three months removed from its first-round playoff loss to the Seattle Sounders, will be missing a few familiar faces as it begins testing and training this weekend.
Team captain Kyle Beckerman and outside back Tony Beltran will stay in Los Angeles, where they are working with the U.S. Men's National Team. Midfielder Luis Gil will also continue his duties with the U.S. Under-20 team.
A few others, however, won't be coming back at all. The team started the offseason by trading away veterans Fabian Espindola, Jamison Olave and Will Johnson to get payroll under the MLS salary cap.
In their stead will be a handful of newcomers: defender Aaron Maund, midfielder Cole Grossman, and a pair of SuperDraft picks in midfielder John Stertzer and forward Devon Sandoval.
RSL finished second in the West last season with a 17-11-6 record, but struggled to score goals to finish the season. The team is hoping the return of Robbie Findley, a move announced earlier this week, will help. RSL will train in Utah, Arizona and California before playing a preseason tournament in Tucson, Ariz., next month.
Real plays its regular-season opener March 3 in San Jose, Calif.