Some 16 months after leaving Costa Rica having become the first Major League Soccer team to clinch a place in the CONCACAF Champions League final, Real Salt Lake is back in the Central American country in search of the title that eluded the club back in 2011.
RSL kicks off the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League tournament in Costa Rica on Tuesday night with a group match against Herediano. It's their first trip to Costa Rica since holding off Deportivo Saprissa in the second leg of the 2011 Champions League semifinals.
One of five MLS teams taking part in this season's tournament, Real Salt Lake returns to the competition for the first time since losing to Monterrey in the final in 2011. Boasting many of the same players responsible for that run to the final, Real Salt Lake is considered one of the league's best hopes for another deep tournament.
Ten of Real Salt Lake's regular starters from the squad that made the Champions League final run are back and RSL will be banking on a Costa Rican to lead the way. Forward Alvaro Saborio is enjoying his best MLS season since joining Real Salt Lake in 2010, and has scored 13 goals for Real Salt Lake, tied for second most in MLS this season.
With Fabian Espindola providing the speedy partner for Saborio up top, and Javier Morales healthy and at his playmaking best, it can be argued that the RSL attack is in better form now than it was when the 2010-2011 tournament took place.