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Preview: Real Salt Lake vs Atlanta United FC

Real Salt Lake have won back-to-back matches and have the defending MLS Champions up next, here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:

1.  RSL beat Toronto FC 3-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium last weekend.  Nick Rimando came up big early in the match to deny Alejandro Pozuelo and Toronto had their share of possession in the first half but it was RSL who was up 2-0 at the break.  Damir Kreilach put the team ahead in the 14th minute but it was Sebastian Saucedo who stole the spotlight in the 28th minute with a stunner that landed on the MLS top plays of the week.  Jefferson Savarino sealed the win in the 60th minute with his second goal of the season.

Albert Rusnak still leads the team with five goals and one assist, Sam Johnson has four goals, Kreilach’s goal against Toronto was his third of 2019, and Corey Baird & Saucedo sit at one goal and two assists each.  Saturday’s win also landed Mike Petke, Sebastian Saucedo, and Nedum Onuaha on the MLS Team of the Week.

2.  The win on Saturday kept RSL in 7th place in the western conference with a record of 5-6-1, 16 points, 18 goals scored, and 20 goals conceded.  RSL now has a home record of 3-2-0.  With Rimando, Silva, Holt, and Luiz returning to full health the injury list is down to just Tony Beltran, who is ruled out for Friday’s match, and Kyle Beckerman, who is questionable.

Real Salt Lake has played Atlanta United just two times since their introduction into the league in 2017 and has yet to beat The Five Stripes with a record of 0-2-0.

3.  Atlanta United F.C. sits in 4th place in the eastern conference with a  record of 6-4-2, 20 points, 13 goals scored (third fewest in MLS), and 9 goals conceded (tied for best in MLS with LAFC).  Atlanta went into Sunday’s match against New York Red Bulls on a five-match win streak but couldn’t extend it to six, as the NYRB found the winner in the 65th.  NYRB’s goal is the only Atlanta has conceded in their last 6 matches.  Atlanta United leads MLS in road wins since 2017 with an impressive 17.

Josef Martinez leads Atlanta with five goals and two assists, Ezequiel Barco has four goals and two assists, Julian Gressel has two goals and two assists, and Hector Villalba has one goal and three assists.

Our coverage of Real Salt Lake vs Atlanta United begins on Friday, May 24th at 6 PM with Spencer Warne and Lauren Mason Beck.  Kick-off at 7 PM with Bill Riley and Jay Nolly.

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