The Real Salt Lake trio of M/F Arturo Alvarez (El Salvador), MF Will Johnson (Canada) and FW Álvaro Saborío (Costa Rica) have earned call-ups to their respective national teams for friendlies to be contested during the upcoming FIFA international fixture window between March 25-29. The trio will be available for comment to members of the media for the final time before departing for their international travels following Real Salt Lake’s Friday training session at XanGo Field, which begins in Lehi at 11:00 a.m. MT.
After heading to the Bay Area for Real Salt Lake’s MLS First Kick 2011 showdown at the San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday, Alvarez, Johnson and Saborío will travel to various international destinations, making them unavailable for selection for the Utah side’s MLS home opener against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday, March 26. The international trio will report back to Head Coach Jason Kreis’ side in time for RSL’s return to CONCACAF Champions League action on Tuesday, April 5, when the Claret-and-Cobalt will carry a 2-0 aggregate goal lead to San Jose, Costa Rica, for the second and decisive leg of their Semifinal Round series against Deportivo Saprissa.
Alvarez will be looking to add to the 14 “caps” he has earned on behalf of El Salvador since 2009 during a pair of upcoming exhibitions against fellow CONCACAF opponents. La Selecta will begin their busy week next Thursday, March 24, with a friendly against Cuba in Havana before making a quick turnaround to San Salvador in order to host their counterparts from Jamaica on Sunday, March 27. The 25-year-old Alvarez’s most recent call-up to El Salvador’s senior side resulted in five appearances during the team’s run in the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana in January, during which the squad qualified for this June’s CONCACAF Gold Cup via a fourth-place finish in the seven-team field.
Johnson will travel to Europe with the Canadian National Team for the second time this spring, this time for the Maple Leafs’ exhibition contest against Belarus. The first-ever meeting between the two countries will take place on Tuesday, March 29, in Antalya, Turkey. Like Alvarez, the 24-year-old Johnson has also made 14 career appearances on the senior level, the latest coming via an 82-minute stint at Greece on February 9 in a 0-1 defeat in Larissa.
Saborío, who has made 62 appearances across various age levels for Costa Rica across the last decade, will celebrate his 29th birthday in his native country on March 25, a day before the Ticos will inaugurate their new National Stadium in San Jose against China. The new venue will welcome one of the world’s top squads three days later on March 29, when Costa Rica will play host to global powerhouse Argentina. The last appearance for Saborío – a veteran of the 2006 World Cup and 2004 Olympics – in a Costa Rican uniform came last Sept. 3 at Panama, when his 52nd minute equalizer helped earn a 2-2 draw.