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Preview: Real Salt Lake at Minnesota United

Real Salt Lake is headed back on the road for another western conference showdown against Minnesota United, here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:

1.  Real Salt Lake is coming off a midweek win against San Jose Earthquakes at Rio Tinto Stadium, vaulting back to second place in the western conference.  Damir Kreilach headed the game-winner home in the 75th minute when he connected with a cross from Brooks Lennon.  RSL played the match without leading goalscorers Albert Rusnak, who had twenty-four starts in twenty-five appearances this season, and Sam Johnson who had traveled back from Europe and Africa, respectively, for international duty.

Rusnak leads the team with nine goals and three assists, Johnson has nine goals, Jefferson Savarino has seven goals and five assists, Kreilach now has five goals and four assists, and Corey Baird has four goals and two assists.

2.  Wednesday’s win brought RSL’s record to 14-11-4 and 46 points.  Real is tied with third-place Seattle on points but ahead of them with fourteen wins to Seattle’s thirteen.  With just three points separating Real Salt Lake from second place and being out of the playoffs all-together, every point is crucial in the last five matches.

Real Salt Lake is 1-2-2 all-time against Minnesota United and 0-2-0 on the road against the Loons.  Minnesota managed to steal a point at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 20 in a 1-1 draw.  RSL has a road record of 3-8-3 this season.

3.  Minnesota United is coming off a 2-0 road loss to Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night and, as pictured above, sit in fourth in the western conference with a record of 13-10-6 and 45 points.  Darwin Quintero leads the Loons with eight goals and five assists, Mason Toye and Ethan Finlay have six goals and two assists each, Angelo Rodriguez has five goals and one assist, and Ike Opara has three goals one assists.

Left-back Chase Gasper, eleven starts in twelve appearances, will be unavailable for Sunday’s match due to yellow card accumulation.  Minnesota United is 8-1-5 at home this season with a goal differential of +13, their lone loss came against Philadelphia on June 2.

Our coverage of Real Salt Lake at Minnesota United begins on Sunday, September 15 at 2:30 PM.

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