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Real Salt Lake Battling Florida Humidity With All Eyes Set On Minnesota United

Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake sits atop the Group D standings following the conclusion of the first week of the MLS Is Back tournament. A 2-0 victory against arch-rivals Colorado Rapids was enough to put the Claret and Cobalt in prime position to move into the knockout stages as they begin preparations for their next opponent, Minnesota United.

“It is on all of us, on the players and on myself, to stay humble,” manager Freddy Juarez said. “We have to continue to get better and continue to improve throughout the tournament.

However, RSL still has plenty of work ahead of them if they hope to win the tournament and qualify for 2021 CONCACAF Champions League. Improving fitness and managing workloads will be a priority for the players and coaching staff as they look towards their second fixture against Minnesota United on Friday, July 17.

Kyle Beckerman and Aaron Herrera were two of the culprits who suffered cramping during the match against the Rapids. Beckerman left the game midway through the second half because of it, while Herrera only noticed symptoms late into stoppage time and was able to make it through to the final whistle.

“I am good, it is something that we all must live with and work through,” Beckerman said. “I have only cramped twice in my life, once in college and the other night against the Rapids, both times they were in Florida,” Herrera added.

Fortunately, the 30-man RSL roster has depth. An advantage they will likely utilize the longer the tournament goes.

“We have depth at every position,” Herrera said when asked about the absence of Nedum Onuoha who opted to stay home in Salt Lake City with his family.

Real Salt Lake will next play Minnesota United on Friday, July 17 at 8:30 p.m. in what will likely be a game that decides the top team from Group D. Minnesota scored two stoppage-time goals to come from behind and beat Sporting Kansas City in their first MLS Is Back fixture.

Tom Hackett is a Utah and Real Salt Lake Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the It’s Utah’s World Podcast (Utah Football themed) and The Lion’s Den Podcast (Real Salt Lake themed). Follow him on Twitter: @TomCantHackett.