Four from Real Salt Lake called for Gold Cup

Will Johnson

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Some familiar faces are going to be missing from Real Salt Lake over the next few weeks.

On Monday, the team acknowledged that four of its players were selected to participate in CONCACAF Gold Cup action with their respective national teams. They expect to miss three of the four for a minimum of three matches, but potentially more depending on the success of their teams in the tournament.

Álvaro Saborío, who was invited to participate with the Costa Rican squad, left immediately from Dallas after RSL’s scoreless draw against FCD on Sunday evening. He joined los Ticos as they prepare for an upcoming friendly against Nigeria in San José, Costa Rica, on May 30.

Arturo Alvarez received the call-up from El Salvador as expected and also departed directly from Dallas. His squad will take on Honduras on May 29 in Houston in a tune-up game in advance of the start of Gold Cup action.

Will Johnson is expected be available for Real Salt Lake in the upcoming home match against Seattle before departing to join Canada in the Toronto area as they prepare for a friendly against Ecuador on June 1.

And finally, Nick Rimando will serve as the third goalkeeper for the US squad. He will not be required to miss action with RSL, however, barring an injury or unforeseen event that would keep Tim Howard or Marcus Hahnemann from filling their role in the US goal.

Should Rimando be pressed into service, he could face his teammate, Johnson, as Canada and the US are scheduled to square off in group stage action on June 7 in Detroit.

For Johnson, who saw some action as a youth with the US team, he’s looking forward to that match.

“It will be a fun game,” he said. “At the same time, it’s a very important game for us.”

However, Johnson indicated that the goal for Canada is to win the tournament.

“If you don’t believe you have a realistic chance to win, then playing, for me, doesn’t really make a lot of sense.”