After their 4-1 win over the Columbus Crew it was waiting time for RSL to find out who they would face on 3/15/11 at Rio Tinto Stadium, tonight they got their answer as Saprissa got a 2-1 win over Olimpia to win their series 3-1. For Real Salt Lake this will not be the first time they face Saprissa, in 2008 the team from Costa Rica came to Rice Eccles Stadium, and they left with a 2-1 win. However there was nothing at stake in that match but pride, RSL made 8 subs in that match, as a number of reserves and bench players got a lot of playing time, and this is a very different Real Salt Lake.
Perhaps the biggest change since these two faced off last will be the venue, at Rio Tinto Stadium it has been 34 matches in all competitions since RSL lost a match. A few names remain from that match, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Kyle Reynish, and Fabian Espindola are the only players on the roster who saw action in that match, oh and the one goal scored by RSL was scored by Chris Wingert.
Don't be mistaken Saprissa is a very good team, they won the previous version of the CCL, 3 different times, they have won their national championship 29 times, and they are owned by the same owner as both version of Chivas. Their roster is made up exclusively of players from Costa Rica, and yes our Alvaro Saborio started his career with them. The team is nicknamed the "The Purple Monster", which opposing teams often represent with children's icon "Barney".
It should be an interesting match, and we will be doing more posts on this upcoming match as the next few days and weeks go by.
OFF MY SOAPBOX