Real Salt Lake will face Minnesota United for the first time this season on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:
1. Real Salt Lake is coming off a confidence-building whooping of the Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union. Jefferson Savarino had a brace and an assist in his second match since returning from Copa America with Venezuela and was named MLS Player of the Week. Albert Rusnak and Damir Kreilach also snagged late goals to give RSL the 4-0 victory. RSL held Philadelphia to five shots and zero shots on goal.
Kyle Beckerman and Everton Luiz got their second assists of the year while Aaron Herrera got his third. Rusnak’s goal brought him to seven goals and three assists on the season, Savarino has five goals and two assists, and Kreilach has four goals and three assists.
2. Real Salt Lake is 1-2-1 all-time against Minnesota United and 1-0-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Last week’s win bumped RSL up from 8th to 6th place in the Western Conference with a record of 9-9-2 and 29 points. RSL is 7-2-0 at home in 2019, where they haven’t dropped points since May 4 and have won their last five. In those last five victories, Real Salt Lake has outscored their opponents 12-1. RSL’s leading goalscorer Sam Johnson remains out on the injured list (quad) but it’s the defense that will be tested against the third highest-scoring team in the league as Nedum Onuoha (17 GP 17 GS – adductor) is also ruled out, Donny Toia (12 GP 12 GS – hamstring) is listed as probable, and Aaron Herrera (20 GP 19 GS) is suspended for yellow card accumulation.
3. Minnesota United FC sits in 4th place in the Western Conference with a record of 10-7-3 and 33 points. As stated above, at 37 GF Minnesota is the third highest-scoring team in MLS (well below league-leaders LAFC and just two short of Philadelphia Union at 39) but with 29 GA they sit in 9th, tied with RSL for fewest goals allowed. Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (19 GP 19 GS / 1 goal 1 assist) is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury alongside forward Angelo Rodriguez (20 GP 15 GS / 5 goals 2 assists) who has an ankle injury. Defender Romain Metanire has returned from international duty with Madagascar in the Africa Cup of Nations, Metanire has one goal and six assists for Minnesota in 14 appearances. Darwin Quintero leads the team with six goals and five assists while Mason Toye has four goals and two assists in just five appearances for the Loons. Last week’s last-gasp 1-0 win against FC Dallas extended MNUFC’s win-streak to four in MLS play. Minnesota United is 4-6-0 on the road this season.
Our coverage of Real Salt Lake vs Minnesota United begins on Saturday, July 20 at 7 PM, kick-off at 8.