Real Salt Lake navigated July to a 4-1-1 record in all competitions, a pair of wins in the U.S. Open Cup to send RSL to its second semifinal in three years, and a three-point grasp of the playoff line in the ultra competitive Western Conference.
For Friday's annual Pioneer Day match that kicks off at 9 p.m., Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City — two clubs separated by the heart of the Midwest's "flyover country" — don't need much introduction.
With head coach Jeff Cassar up in the booth and leading striker Sebastian Jaime suspended, Javier Morales and Joao Plata each had a goal and an assist to lead Real Salt Lake to a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo in front of 20,174 fans on Saturday.
Clint Dempsey walked away with the game ball for one of the few times in his career. With his first international hat trick, he boosted the United States to a 6-0 rout over Cuba on Saturday and into its eighth straight CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal.
Luis Silva arrived at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday just two days after being traded to RSL for Alvaro Saborio, still living out of a hotel and finishing up business in the nation's capital. But he's excited to be in his new home.
Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran was named to the MLS All-Star gameday roster Saturday afternoon, joining goalkeeper Nick Rimando for the league event that will be played July 29 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
Luis Gil took the surprising trade of Alvaro Saborio hard upon learning the Costa Rican striker had been traded to D.C. United in exchange for Luis Silva. It wasn't any easier for the RSL technical staff.
Real Salt Lake defender Aaron Maund started the season with a restructured contract, barely cracking the four-deep depth chart behind Chris Schuler, Jamison Olave and Elias Vasquez. On Tuesday night, he was the man of the hour in the U.S. Open Cup.