SANDY -- It might not count in the standings of Major League Soccer, but there is no question that Real Salt Lake will put its best foot forward tonight.
The Claret-and-Cobalt host the Charleston Battery in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium, looking to punch a ticket to the quarterfinal round of the 100-year-old single elimination tournament.
Kickoff between Salt Lake and the third-division Battery (United Soccer League's Professional division) is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Despite the fact that it will be Real's fifth match since May 25, and second in the last four days, the team's approach to this tournament has been serious enough to see another First Choice XI lineup, minus those away on international duty.
"The break after the game on Wednesday alleviates my thinking about the fatigue levels. But again it'll be a conversation with the guys on Tuesday who have played 90 minutes again (Saturday vs. Los Angeles) to see whether or not they'll be available for selection to start that match or whether they'd prefer to come off the bench," Real boss Jason Kreis said.
"I have a feeling they're all going to want to play because I think they're as hungry for this tournament as I am. We're all very much aligned in it this year with a little bit of a different approach to it this year. I want to win this tournament, and I want it in the worst way."
Salt Lake is 6-8-0, with a 24-29 goals for-against differential, during Open Cup play, including a 3-2 victory in extra time against the second division Atlanta Silverhawks on May 28.
The Battery are 9-11-0 all-time against MLS teams in the tournament, and have made the quarterfinals five times, including a 2008 runner-up finish to D.C. United.
The winner of tonight's match will host the winner of Chivas USA and the second-division Carolina RailHawks of the North American Soccer League on June 26.
* GRABAVOY FINED: Real Salt Lake midfielder Ned Grabavoy has been fined an undisclosed amount by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for simulation in the 90th minute of RSL's 3-1 win over the LA Galaxy last Saturday.
The referee ruled a foul and issued a yellow card to Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas on the play, but the Committee unanimously determined that it was an act of simulation by Grabavoy.