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Real Salt Lake has reset priorities for season

Published: Wednesday, July 1 2015 1:16 a.m. MDT

Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman kicks the ball during a soccer game against the New England Revolution at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Monday, July 4, 2011.  (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman kicks the ball during a soccer game against the New England Revolution at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Monday, July 4, 2011. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

The quad has now become a pursuit of the double.

Real Salt Lake began the year with realistic aspirations of winning four major trophies, something no MLS team has come close to accomplishing. The Champions League chase ended in heartbreaking fashion in April, and earlier this week RSL bowed out of the U.S. Open Cup in the quarterfinals.

Two trophies are still there for the taking though, and those are the new priorities for RSL as it heads into the second half of the MLS season.

"The Open Cup is over now and we have to wash our hands of it and put it in the past. This was a tough result for us, but now we can focus on the league, and that is the most important thing for us," said RSL defender Nat Borchers following Tuesday's loss at FC Dallas.

The schedule is favorable for quick recovery.

RSL is on the road this afternoon at expansion Vancouver, a team that's won just two of 20 games this year and has already gone through a coaching change. Salt Lake, meanwhile, is unbeaten in six straight (2-0-4) and it will definitely be the favorite to secure the full three points in today's 2 p.m. kickoff, which will be broadcast on KMYU 2.2.

With only 14 matches remaining for the Whitecaps, at 2-10-8 they'll need to pick up the pace if they hope to eclipse RSL's five victories in its expansion season.

"We've got a big test in front of us at Vancouver and we'll have to play well on the road to get a result," said Borchers. "They've got a tough environment to deal with so we're going to have to bring our A game on Saturday."

Even though Tuesday's loss in Dallas was disappointing, Real Salt Lake is still moving on with confidence knowing that just three days earlier it beat FC Dallas 2-0 in a league game at Rio Tinto Stadium.

That was arguably the most important victory of the season to date. Now RSL, which has played at least two fewer games than the three teams it's chasing in the Western Conference, is within striking distance. Los Angeles leads the West with 39 points (21 games played), followed by Seattle with 35 points (21 GP), Dallas with 34 (19 GP) and then Real Salt Lake with 30 (17 GP).

RSL is 2-2-3 on the road this season, including recent ties at Philadelphia and Chicago.

Nick Rimando and Alvaro Saborio, two players who missed the Open Cup ouster in Dallas for different reasons, should be available for tonight's match. Rimando didn't travel because of an ankle injury and Saborio didn't travel for disciplinary reasons after his reaction to being subbed off in the 88th minute of last week's home win over Dallas.

Following the loss in Dallas, RSL coach Jason Kreis said, "We need to move forward, we need to move forward very quickly and we need to move forward together."

These teams met back on June 4 at Rio Tinto Stadium with RSL prevailing 2-0 behind goals from Jean Alexandre and Fabian Espindola.

Email: jedward@desnews.com

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