International Preview: Three RSL players in action on Tuesday
SANDY, Utah – Three Real Salt Lake players will be in action for their respective national teams in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday night. RSL captain Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando will be available for the United States in its final qualifier against Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez and forward Alvaro Saborio suiting up for Costa Rica when they host Mexico.
Beckerman, Rimando and the rest of the U.S. squad will take on Los Canaleros at 7:30 p.m. MT on beIN SPORT. Currently sitting in fifth-place in the Hexagonal standings, Panama will need a win in order to have any chance at moving past Mexico into the fourth-place playoff spot. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made multiple roster changes ahead of Tuesday’s match, sending home select top players: Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, Jermaine Jones and Matt Besler. With those absences, opportunities might arise for reserve players to prove their worth, including RSL’s Kyle Beckerman. The U.S. has a strong showing against Los Canaleros, posting a 10-1-2 overall record and a 2-0-1 record in Panama City.
Saborio and Costa Rica will host Mexico, with Los Ticos taking on El Tri at 7:30 p.m. MT on Fox Deportes. Currently sitting in fourth-place in the Hexagonal standings, Mexico will need a win or a tie in order to keep fifth-place Panama at bay and secure at least the fourth-place playoff spot. If Mexico secures a win, the results from the Jamaica v. Honduras match will determine El Tri’s final placement.
In Tuesday's final Hexagonal match, Jamaica will host Honduras at 7:30 p.m. MT on beIN SPORT. Honduras, sitting in third-place, only needs a draw in order to officially qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. If Los Catrachos are unable to record any points they will have to hope that Costa Rica can prevent Mexico from a win that would see Honduras slip in the fourth-place playoff spot. Jamaica has been mathematically eliminated from qualifying and will showcase a younger, forward-thinking squad.
Both the U.S. and Costa Rica have already qualified for next summer’s 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. In last Friday’s round of qualifiers only Alvaro Saborio saw action for his country, starting and playing 70 minutes for Costa Rica in Los Ticos’ 1-0 loss at Honduras. Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando did not feature for the U.S. in their 2-0 win over Jamaica at Sporting Park in Kansas City. With the win over Jamaica, the Americans clinched first-place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal which it has now won the Hex in three-straight World Cup Qualifying cycles. Costa Rica sits in second in the six-nation group with 15 points, four points behind the U.S.'s 19.
All three players will return to RSL following Tuesday’s Hexagonal matches and will likely be available for selection for the Claret-and-Cobalt’s crucial match at Portland on Saturday, Oct. 19.