The Claret and Cobalt return to MLS play on Saturday and will have a lot of confidence going into the match. RSL is coming off a 1-0 win in US Open Cup Quarterfinal action against Western Conference Rival LA Galaxy. You may think that a 1-0 win against LA isn’t the biggest thing to happen. It is when RSL has struggled as of late in Major League Soccer action, having lost/drawn the last 4 games (0-2-2) and their last MLS win was a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City on June 21st at the RioT. A lot of fans have hit the panic button on RSL’s season. I wouldn’t just yet. RSL still has 7 home games and 7 road games left in the regular season and they are only 7 points of the last spot in the playoffs. Keep in mind, they are making a lot of adjustments as they just traded their all-time leading goal scorer Alvaro Saborio to DC United in exchange for a 26 year-old MF Luis Silva on Thursday. They have also hit the injury bug once again as Jamison Olave remains out of the RSL lineup with a groin injury and will continue to be without the services of Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando as they are on National Duty with the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and Defender Demar Phillips with the Jamaican National team. Another reason that the team is short-handed is because they have been receiving a lot of red cards as the team has tied a club high 7 red cards this season. Sebastian Jaime, who has been on fire as of late scoring 4 goals in the last 5 matches across all competitions. The team will also be without Head Coach Jeff Cassar as he was issued a red card following their 3-1 loss to Rocky Mountain Rival Colorado on July 12th. Assistant Coach Daryl Shore will be acting bench coach for RSL. If all of that doesn’t test your teams depth, I don’t know what does.
Looking at their matchup with the Houston Dynamo. This will be the first meeting between the two teams this season and will have one more in Houston on 9/12. This is Houston’s first season in the Western Conference due to the two new expansion teams in the Eastern Conference (NYCFC and Orlando City SC). The Dynamo are one of three teams that RSL will only face twice in the West, FC Dallas and Seattle Sounders are the two other teams as they will play the rest of the conference the traditional three times. In the lone meeting in 2014 RSL picked up a big 5-2 win in the lonestar state for the first time in club history. Javier Morales racked up a hat-trick and Luke Mulholland and Alvaro Saborio added the other two goals in the win. Houston will be without F Giles Barnes who is with Jamaica in the Gold Cup and Defender DeMarcus Beasley is with Beckerman and Rimando with the USMNT. They will also be without Midfielders Rob Lovejoy and Boniek Garcia with injuries.
RSL is 6-1-6 across all competitions and 2-1-3 against Western Conference opponents at Rio Tinto Stadium. The club is at the point where they must get 3 points every game at home.
You can listen to the match on your home of RSL, ESPN 700 beginning with pregame coverage with Jeremy Horton and Brian Kamler at 7pm and all the play-by-play action with Bill Riley and Brian Kamler at 8pm.
If you missed the Saborio news, you can find the recap HERE.
Jeff Cassar addressed the media on Thursday about the trade HERE.
RSL Analyst Brian Dunseth joined Bill & OC to talk about the trade and the matchup with Houston HERE.
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