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Preview: Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers

Real Salt Lake finished their three-match homestand with six of nine points and are headed back on the road to face Portland Timbers, here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:

1.  RSL defeated Colorado Rapids 2-0 last weekend, claiming the Rocky Mountain Cup for the fourth straight year.  Nick Rimando kept RSL in the match with a massive double-save in the first half but the attack just wasn’t clicking for the home side until Joao Plata subbed on in the 68th minute.  Real scored via Damir Kreilach in the first minute of stoppage time but Jefferson Savarino was ruled offside earlier in the play.  Four minutes later Plata earned a penalty kick for RSL and Albert Rusnak, Real’s primary PK taker, deferred to the Ecuadorian who buried it and gave RSL the lead.  Savarino scored a few minutes later to seal the win.

Rusnak’s assist to Savarino brought him to nine goals and five assists on the season, Sam Johnson has nine goals, Savarino now has seven goals and five assists, Damir Kreilach has four goals and five assists, and Corey Baird has four goals and three assists.  Plata’s goal was his first since scoring on the road against Colorado Rapids on August 25, 2018.

2.  The win against Colorado launched RSL from fourth place to second in the Western Conference standings with a record of 13-10-4 and 43 points.  Corey Baird and Aaron Herrera were suspended for last week’s match, for yellow card accumulation and a red card respectively, but will be available against Portland on Saturday.  Kyle Beckerman’s yellow card against Colorado Rapids means he is unavailable against Portland.

3.  Portland Timbers has a record of 11-11-4 with 37 points and sits in 8th place in the conference.  Portland played their first home game of the season on June 1st against LAFC in the newly-remodeled Providence Park and have a record of 5-2-2 on their home turf, where they’ve outscored opponents 21-11.  Last weekend Portland lost 1-2 at home to rivals Seattle Sounders.  Cristian Roldan and Raul Ruidiaz gave Seattle the 0-2 lead but Diego Valeri pulled one back in the 54th minute and it looked like Portland might be able to snag a point but their efforts proved to be fruitless and they lost their first home match since June 1st.

Brian Fernandez leads Portland with ten goals and one assist, Jeremy Obobisse has eight goals and one assist, Diego Valeri has seven goals and fifteen assists, and Sebastian Blanco has four goals and ten assists.

Our coverage of Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers begins on Saturday, August 31 at 7:30 PM.

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