Real Salt Lake returns to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday to face Portland Timbers, here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:
1. RSL lost on the road last week against L.A. Galaxy, 2-1. Donny Toia scored his first goal for the club and leveled the score 1-1, but Zlatan couldn’t be tamed, on or off the pitch, and got the game-winner for the Galaxy in the 78th minute. Real put up a good fight on the road with 45% possession, 22 shots, and 7 shots on goal.
Albert Rusnak leads the team with four goals and one assist while Damir Kreilach and Sam Johnson are tied at two goals apiece, and Jefferson Savarino sits at one goal and one assist. Real Salt Lake has played just three matches at Rio Tinto this season and is 2-1-0.
2. Real Salt Lake is in 7th place in the western conference with a record of 3-5-1 and ten points. All-time RSL has a record of 7-7-7 against Portland and 5-4-2 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Timbers swept RSL in 2018, beating the Claret & Cobalt 1-4 at RioT and 3-0 at Providence Park.
Tony Beltran remains ruled out for this Saturday’s match, Nick Rimando is questionable but saw increased time in practice this week, and Erik Holt and Everton Luiz are doubtful.
3. Portland Timbers sit in 10th place in the western conference with a record of 2-5-1 and seven points. With Providence Park under construction, the Timbers have played all of their matches on the road so far in 2019. Portland has scored four of their eleven goals off set-pieces and five of eleven have been headers, they are tied for first in the league in both of those categories. After losing five consecutive matches, the Timbers have won their last two matches, at Columbus and at Toronto.
Jeremy Ebobisse leads the team with four goals, while Diego Valeri continues to pull strings for the Timbers with one goal and six assists, Sebastian Blanco has one goal and four assists, and Cristhian Paredes has one goal and one assist.