With some of their core veterans leaving for international duty, Real Salt Lake are going to be calling on largely untested players to plug the gaps over the coming weeks.
Kyle Reynish will step in for Nick Rimando, while Yordany Alvarez will replace Kyle Beckerman. Both Rimando and Beckerman are currently in camp with the US national team ahead of a slate of games that include three friendlies and two World Cup qualifiers. RSL will also lose Will Johnson and Alvaro Saborio to duty with Canada and Costa Rica, respectively, although neither will depart until after Saturday’s home match against FC Dallas (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
“I would say we like him,” RSL GM Garth Lagerwey said of Reynish. “He’s unbeaten in league play. I don’t know how he could prove himself much better than that. He’s a different style than Nick, but I have a lot of confidence in Kyle. I think he’s perfectly capable of stepping up and filling in for Nick while he’s gone.”
The 28-year-old ‘keeper is currently RSL’s longest tenured player, having joined the team out of UC Santa Barbara in the 2007 Supplemental Draft. Reynish has six career matches for the club, five of them starts, and has allowed just three goals while posting three shutouts.
“Nick is going to be in the national team camp for the five-game stretch,” Lagerwey said of Rimando. “In that time he’ll miss a league game and one or two Open Cup games. I think it’s a great opportunity for Kyle to get into a groove and get a couple of games in a row, and hopefully he’ll excel.”
As hard as it is to fill the shoes of Rimando, it might be even more difficult to replace Beckerman.
“Kyle, our captain, is the heart and soul of the team, so I don’t know that you can replace Kyle Beckerman,” Lagerwey admitted. “Everybody’s got to chip in a little bit to replace him, but Yordany Alvarez is a young player and we’re excited for him to get the opportunity. He did well in some instances for us last season, and we want to see him out there this Saturday and see how he does.”