Real Salt Lake-Chivas USA Preview

The Associated Press

Already missing a couple of key players because of the World Cup, Real Salt Lake might also be without a veteran defender in its return to MLS play.

Nat Borchers could choose to remain at home with his new son instead of being on the field Saturday night against a Chivas USA team seeking to avoid its longest single-season home losing streak.

RSL (6-2-7) is without captain Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who are with the United States' World Cup squad in Brazil. The club might have had a third player in the round of 16 if Alvaro Saborio had not broken his foot in training with Costa Rica.

Saborio is expected to miss at least two more months, and defender Carlos Salcedo likely won't be back with the team until July 4 because he's training with the Mexican Under-21 squad. The statuses of Robbie Findley (knee), Ned Grabavoy (hip) and Luis Gil (groin) are unknown.

Borchers and his son, Lincoln, are reportedly healthy, and the defender was at the team's practice Wednesday. He hadn't decided, however, if he was going to head to Carson, California.

"If he wants to be with his family, that's the most important thing. But if you can join us and make us better, that'd be great," coach Jeff Cassar told the league's official website.

If he plays, Borchers will try to aid RSL's attempt to avoid a third straight defeat in all competitions. The club lost 3-1 to visiting Portland in its final game before the World Cup break June 7 and was edged 2-1 by the Atlanta Silverbacks in the fourth round of U.S. Open Cup play June 14.

Facing a Chivas club it's dominated recently and also dropped five in a row at home would appear to help Real Salt Lake.

RSL has also won five in a row against the Western Conference's last-place team and is 9-1-1 in the last 11 matchups. Salt Lake has also taken five consecutive road wins in the series, the last three by a combined 11-1 margin.

Chivas (2-7-5) comes out of the break with its focus on avoiding a sixth consecutive home defeat and ending an 0-2-2 stretch in league play. The club, which has been outscored 14-2 during its home skid, lost its first five home games in 2012 after dropping its final one in 2011.

Two of its midfielders - Marvin Chavez (Honduras) and Oswaldo Minda (Ecuador) - are unavailable due to World Cup commitments.

"Right now the most important thing is we have to prepare ourselves. (Real Salt Lake has) been preparing themselves and they are going to come to get the result," coach Wilmer Cabrera told the team's official website. "We think that our players are in a good shape right now and they're healthy, so we have to be ready to play."

The teams won't meet again until October, when they'll play twice in less than three weeks.

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