For the first time in six weeks, Real Salt Lake will take to a pitch not its own.
Heading across the northern border for the third time this season, the Claret-and-Cobalt will face Toronto FC at 11 a.m. today at BMO Field, once again seeking its first-ever victory on Canadian soil.
Due to FCC regulations, the match will be televised on CW30 on a one-hour tape-delay, beginning at noon.
Salt Lake (9-5-3, 30 points), which is tied atop the Major League Soccer table with Western Conference rival Portland, carries a six-match winning streak and an eight-match unbeaten streak across all competitions into today's match, having not lost since falling 3-2 in the final second at Montreal on May 11.
RSL is 9-1-1 in its last 11 matches, including three U.S. Open Cup victories, dating back to the first of May, and has scored a blistering 30 goals while allowing just 11 during that stretch. Real has also pitched back-to-back shutouts, locking down Seattle 2-0 in last weekend's MLS outing at Rio Tinto Stadium, and Carolina 3-0 in Open Cup play on Wednesday.
While Real Salt Lake is seemingly as hot as the Wasatch Front weather, Toronto comes into today's clash with just one win in its last 13 matches (1-6-6). The Reds only home win this season came back on March 9, when they defeated Kansas City 2-1.
Toronto snapped an 11-match winless streak with a 2-1 win on the road at league cellar-dweller D.C. United on June 15 and then drew Houston 0-0 at BMO Field last Saturday.
Real is 0-3-2 all-time at Toronto, and has been shut out in all five trips in across the border in league play.
Salt Lake will be missing forward Alvaro Saborio, who left after Wednesday's Open Cup match to join the Costa Rican national team in preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman, goalkeeper Nick Rimando, and outside defender Tony Beltran were called up to the United States' national team, and will head to training camp after today's match. The quartet will miss at least three matches, and potentially a fourth, while away on national team duty.
Midfielder Luis Gil, however, will return soon from international duty with the U-20 U.S. national team, which was eliminated from the U-20 World Cup with a 4-1 loss to Ghana earlier this week.
* OPEN CUP TICKETS: By virtue of Wednesday's 3-0 victory over the NASL Carolina Railhawks, Real Salt Lake will now host one of two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal matches at Rio Tinto Stadium at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 7.
Just two wins away from a return to CONCACAF Champions League via the Open Cup, Jason Kreis' team is the first Utah side to advance to the tourney's Semifinal stage in the USOC's 100-year history.
RSL will host the Portland Timbers, led by Will Johnson, the four-year RSL veteran traded to Portland in November.
Tickets for the Aug. 7 U.S. Open Cup semifinal go on sale at 10 a.m. on July 1 at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, at www.RealSaltLake.com, or over the phone at 801-727-2700.