SANDY — Riding a four-game winning streak in all competitions, Real Salt Lake is hoping good karma keeps the streak going on Wednesday night in Seattle.
RSL's owners are using a private jet to fly Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando to Seattle late Tuesday night following the U.S. National Team's World Cup Qualifying match — and they're letting Seattle's Eddie Johnson hitch a ride as well.
If any of the three were flying commercially, they wouldn't arrive in Seattle until Wednesday afternoon.
"We've decided to do what we think is the right thing to do," Kreis said. "You have to believe they would do the same in our shoes. Ultimately we want the best game possible, which means the best players available. Seattle, as we know, is a fantastic place for our sport and has given us so much with our fans it's always going to be the right thing to do."
Realistically, helping Johnson with his travel plans might be a moot point.
Johnson scored both goals for the United States last Friday in a critical 2-1 qualifying victory over Antigua and Barbuda. Most are expecting U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann to give Johnson extended minutes again on Tuesday night in Kansas City.
Assuming Johnson plays on Tuesday, it's extremely unlikely Seattle coach Sigi Schmid would use him again 24 hours later.
That's not the case for Real Salt Lake's duo of U.S. National Teamers. Rimando is the third keeper on the U.S. depth chart and likely won't dress on Tuesday, while Beckerman's status is in question as well after he didn't play last weekend.
If neither plays Tuesday, Kreis would likely have no reservation starting his regulars in Seattle thanks to some easy travel arrangements.
Even if the duo starts, Real Salt Lake will still be shorthanded in what many believe is a playoff preview between RSL and Seattle. Both Alvaro Saborio and Will Johnson will be in Central America Tuesday night participating in World Cup qualifiers for their respective countries.
Injured midfielder Ned Grabavoy is likely out as well.
Even though he trained with the team Monday at Rio Tinto Stadium, he was utilized exclusively as a neutral player and didn't seem too optimistic afterward.
"There's still some stuff that doesn't feel great," he said. "We don't want to do anything stupid and have a setback 'cause it's an injury that takes a while."
Ned Grabavoy injured his quad in training several weeks ago. After missing RSL's recent road wins against Chivas USA and Los Angeles, he's anxious to get back on the field but knows bigger games loom down the road, including next Tuesday's Champions League clash with Herediano.
"It's a huge, huge game for this club and I want to be a part of it for sure, but I also want to be a part of some of the other stuff too, the playoffs. I think we're poised to make another run," Grabavoy said.
RSL on the air
Real Salt Lake (17-11-4) at Seattle Sounders (14-7-10)
Wednesday, 9 p.m.
CenturyLink Field, Seattle
TV: KUCW Radio: 700 AM
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