With the CONCACAF Gold Cup at last concluded, several critical pieces of the puzzle are at last coming back into place for Real Salt Lake.
And it couldn't have come at a better time for the Claret-and-Cobalt.
Sitting at the top of the table despite gut-wrenching back-to-back losses in stoppage time the last two weeks, Salt Lake faces a critical road much with red-hot Rocky Mountain Cup rival Colorado at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
The match, which will determine the owner of this season's version of the Cup, will be televised live on KTVX.
Colorado captured a 1-0 victory over Real in the teams' previous meeting in Commerce City this year, way back on April 6. The Rapids also managed a 1-1 draw with RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 16.
If Colorado manages a win or a draw during tonight's proceedings, they will claim the Cup and end Salt Lake's six-year stranglehold on it. If Real wins, however, the series will be a draw this season and RSL will retain the cup as defending champions for a seventh straight year.
While having three key players back from national team duty will certainly be a boost, the team will have to overcome its own history as it hasn't captured a full three points in Colorado since Oct. 20, 2007.
That win, in addition to knocking the Rapids out of the MLS Cup playoffs that season, gave RSL the Cup for the first time.
All-time, Colorado leads the series 10-9-8, including a 7-2-4 mark in Commerce City.
RSL also learned on Friday morning that midfielder Yordany Alvarez, who primarily started in Beckerman's place in the defensive half of the formation during the Gold Cup, was suspended for three matches.
The MLS Disciplinary Committee ruled Alvarez made a "reckless challenge" on New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill during the fourth minute of Salt Lake's wild 4-3 loss on Saturday.