Real Salt Lake has put themselves in a favorable position to win multiple trophies this year, and former Grande Sports Academy graduate Carlos Salcedo has been at the helm of RSL’s success.
On August 7th, Carlos Salcedo earned the start against Portland Timbers in the 2013 U.S. Open Cup semifinal. In RSL’s 9-year history, they never have advanced to a U.S. Open Cup Final and they were facing a Timbers side that posse’s one of the most dynamic attacks in Major League Soccer. With pressure on RSL to deliver a win in front of their home fans at Rio Tinto, a game of this magnitude may be reserved for a seasoned veteran, but as Salcedo has shown all season, he isn’t your typical rookie with limited experience.
RSL beat writer Matt Montgomery – who runs the excellent RSL Soapbox – has praised Salcedo for his early season performances, which include going the full 90 in the 2-1 semifinal win over the Timbers.
In a piece Montgomery wrote, he talks about how Salcedo looks not only physically ready to play but mentally as well, and how his partnership with RSL defenders Borchers and Beltran has been highly effective.
In the 11 games Salcedo has played in – MLS and U.S. Open Cup competition – RSL has gone undefeated winning nine games and drawing two. RSL’s success isn’t just limited to the U.S. Open Cup. As of August 12th, RSL leads the Supporters’ Shield by 2 points, which is an award given to the MLS team who finishes the regular season with the most point earned from games played.
RSL looking to earn a berth in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League will have their first chance to earn that on October 1st, when they host DC United in the 100th edition of the U.S. Open Cup Final. Winners of the U.S. Open Cup, Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup receive an automatic berth.
RSL has never won multiple trophies in one season, but with RSL’s performance this season and the emerging play of Salcedo combined with RSL’s key players gives hope that this season can be a special one for RSL and Salcedo.