Brian Nicholson, Deseret News
SANDY — Few cities have been more unkind to Real Salt Lake through the years than Houston.
When the club heads to the sweltering heat of Texas for this Thursday's clash with the Dynamo, it will do so significantly shorthanded.
Kyle Beckerman (USA), Nick Rimando (USA), Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) and Will Johnson (Canda) were called up for international duty by their respective national teams on Sunday, and all but Rimando will miss the Houston match.
Chris Wingert is also suspended for the match after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in Saturday's win against D.C. United. Real Salt Lake's all-time record in Houston is 0-7-1.
Beckerman, Saborio and Johnson departed Utah on Sunday to join their national teams in preparation for Sept. 7 and 11 World Cup qualifying matches. Rimando will remain with RSL through Thursday, but will meet up with Beckerman and the rest of the U.S. National Team afterward.
The United States plays at Jamaica on Friday, and four nights later faces Jamaica again in Columbus, Ohio. The two teams are tied for first in Group 1 of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying through two of six qualifying matches. The two top teams move onto the next stage of qualifying.
Costa Rica faces Mexico in its quick home-and-away qualifying series, and Saborio is hoping to pick up where he left off. In a World Cup qualifying match with Costa Rica back in June, he recorded a hat trick in a 4-0 win over Guyana.
Johnson heads off to join the Canadian National Team in high spirits after scoring the game-winning goal for RSL against D.C. United on Saturday. His team hosts Panama this Friday and then travels to Panama for a game on Sept.. 11.
It will be the first of two trips to Panama this month for Johnson as Real Salt Lake will play at Tauro FC on Sept. 18 in the third of its four CONCACAF Champions League group games.
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