Real Salt Lake is headed to Sporting Kansas City to face their rivals one more time in the regular season, here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:
1. Real Salt Lake is coming off a 3-1 home win against NYCFC last weekend, their first come-from-behind win of the season. Alexander Ring put the visitors up 0-1 in the 4th minute but Jefferson Savarino pulled RSL even in the 37th and the teams went into halftime at 1-1. Albert Rusnak gave RSL the lead in the 75th minute with a Goal of the Week winning strike and Nick Besler secured the win with a cheeky backheel in the 88th, just eight minutes after coming on for Kyle Beckerman.
Rusnak’s goal brought him to a team-leading eight goals and four assists, Sam Johnson has eight goals, and Jefferson Savarino has six goals and four assists (three goals and three assists in his last four matches). Before subbing out, Beckerman had two assists on the night bringing him to four on the season, Besler now has one goal and one assist in 2019.
2. Saturday’s match will be the third and final of Petke’s suspension. RSL will be missing a key player in Everton Luiz this weekend due to yellow card accumulation but the injury list is getting shorter by the week, with defender Nedum Onuoha (adductor) now completely off the list and Sam Johnson (quad) listed as probable for Saturday’s match while Tony Beltran (knee) remains ruled out. Johnson and Onuoha were both injured during RSL’s last match against SKC at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 3rd, a match that RSL won 2-0 thanks to a brace from Johnson in the first half. With the win against Sporting just over a month ago, RSL has an all-time record of 12-9-8 against Sporting but is just 3-6-5 at Children’s Mercy Park. RSL is 7-1-5 against SKC in their last thirteen regular-season matches.
Real Salt Lake announced on Wednesday that they have acquired midfielder Kelyn Rowe from Sporting in exchange for $75,000 in Targeted Allocation Money split between 2019 and 2020 and an international roster slot for 2019. Rowe joined MLS in 2012 and has 29 goals and 42 assists in 220 regular-season appearances.
3. Sporting Kansas City is coming off a 2-3 road win against Seattle Sounders, their third win in their last five matches. Felipe Guitierrez had a big game with two goals but Erik Hurtado’s return from injury proved to be timely when he scored what would turn out to be the match-winner in the 58th. Guitierrez leads SKC with ten goals and one assist, Johnny Russell has seven goals and three assists, and Krisztian Nemeth has seven goals and two assists. Benny Feilhaber will miss the match due to yellow card accumulation while Cam Duke (hamstring), and Adrian Zendejas (back) have been ruled out due to injury.
Our coverage of Real Salt Lake at Sporting Kansas City begins on Saturday, August 10 at 5:30 PM, kick-off at 6:30.