The reinforcements are coming.
A depleted Real Salt Lake held its own for one half of soccer in Dallas over the weekend, before giving up a pair of second-half goals and losing 2-0. But RSL, which was missing 11 players due to injuries and international call-ups, should be much closer to full strength when the Seattle Sounders come to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.
After watching the United States beat Costa Rica in a Denver snowstorm on Friday, RSL captain Kyle Beckerman, goalkeeper Nick Rimando and defender Tony Beltran will all be in Mexico City for another World Cup qualifying match Tuesday. But the RSL starters, who saw no time on the field in Denver, should be back and available for action Saturday night in Sandy.
Defender Abdoulie Mansally and leading goal scorer Alvaro Saborio should also be back for Real Salt Lake (1-2-1).
Coach Jason Kreis and the rest of the RSL team that lost in Dallas made no excuses for the absence of so many players.
"We absolutely miss those guys," Kreis said after the loss. But "I have to say, I'm impressed with how well the rest of the guys did. I thought Lovel [Palmer], Cole [Grossman] and Josh Saunders all had solid games."
Goalkeeper Saunders made five saves while tending net in Rimando's absence, but he gave up the night's second goal when he made a mistake on a back pass.
"Yeah, you know, depleted or not, we're still out there, we are here to do a job and whoever you put on the field you expect them to do enough," Saunders said. "We kept it scoreless for so long and we created some good chances to maybe get a goal, even hit the [post]. Their goalkeeper made a good save, and then their defender cleared the ball off the line. So, the game could have shifted at that point, but it didn't, and the ball did not bounce our way today."
Seattle at RSL
P Saturday, 7 p.m.
TV • CW30