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RSL trio excited to represent USA

SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando and Tony Beltran are all eager to take the field for the U.S. National Team Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - For the second time in less than a month, soccer fans in Utah get the privilege to see the U.S. Men's National Team in action. The U.S. takes on Cuba at Rio Tinto Stadium Saturday afternoon in the Gold Cup Tournament, and there is a good chance fans will get to see all three Real Salt Lake players, Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando and Tony Beltran, on the field.

"It's going to be great," Beckerman said. "It's something you look forward to, it doesn't happen often, and it could be the last time."

"It will be special," said Beltran. "The fact that I'm with the U.S. Men's National Team and get to play at Rio Tinto in front of my home fans and and front of my family, it's fantastic."

"It will be weird wearing a different crest," said Rimando. "But once you cross those lines, I'm familiar with those fans and the field, so hopefully it will feel the same."

It's no coincidence that Real Salt Lake is at the top of the table in the Western Conference, and they have the most MLS players on the Gold Cup roster.

"We've known that if we do well with Salt Lake, guys are going to get rewarded with national team call-ups," Beckerman said. "So, it's just a testament to the coaching staff and the club that have put in a lot of hard work to make us a good team, and guys are getting rewarded."

Beckerman and Rimando suited up but didn't play for the U.S. in the World Cup qualifier June 18th against Honduras at Rio Tinto. But both players have started and played well in two victories with the Gold Cup team.

"We want to be the best in the region," said Rimando, who has given up just one goal in two games. "We want to put U.S. Soccer where it should be, and this is one step in that direction."

The U.S. has looked dominant in their last two matches over Guatemala and Belize, winning by a combined score of 12-1. While the Americans might not put up that impressive of a score Saturday, they still are heavy favorites.

"If we click, we're going to score six goals," Rimando said. "But if we won 1-0, it's still a 'W' and we're moving forward in the tournament."

"I don't think you ever expect to score that many goals," said Beckerman, who had a beautiful assist on one of Chris Wondolowki's three goals against Belize. "But we've really been focused and training has been really good, making sure we get after these teams early. Because if you don't get early goals, these teams can really stay in it and get some confidence."

For Rio Tinto Stadium to host two national team games in less than a month is unprecedented in the state of Utah. But the RSL players say it's because soccer has caught on so well here that the U.S. team wants to keep coming back.

"It's interesting because we're the smallest market in MLS," said Beltran. "But we've built such a special thing here. We have a fantastic stadium with great supporters. It's just so great that the U.S. Men's National Team wants to come here."

"It's really a credit to the fans," Beckerman said. "The people here have really taken soccer and pushed it to the forefront. It's awesome."

"We've proven that we're one of the best states in America to host these games," said Rimando. "So, I'm excited to get out there and represent RSL and the United States."

The U.S. and Cuba will play at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Real Salt Lake is in action at 7:00 at FC Dallas in a game that will be televised on CW30.
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