With week 1 in the books, RSL looks to their 2019 home opener against Vancouver on Saturday, March 9.
1. Real Salt Lake opened the 2019 season with a 1-1 draw on the road in Houston. Albert Rusnak opened his 2019 account and put RSL up 1-0 late in the first half, but Mauro Manotas equalized in the 62nd minute. Despite RSL’s offensive substitutions and a Houston red card, the Claret & Cobalt couldn’t find a winner on the road.
Rusnak had 10 goals and 7 assists in 2018, while Corey Baird, who assisted Rusnak’s goal in Houston, had 8 goals and 5 assists last year.
2. RSL is 4-1-5 in home openers at Rio Tinto their only loss coming to LAFC in 2018. Real boasted an 11-2-4 record at RioT last year, earning 34 points at home. All-time RSL is 7-9-4 against Vancouver and 6-1-3 at Rio Tinto. In 2018 the team’s split the series, 2-1 RSL at RioT and 3-0 Whitecaps at BC Place. Saturday’s home opener will also be Nick Rimando’s last, as he announced his retirement ahead of their Houston trip last week. Rimando currently sits just 14 regular season appearances from 500, he would be the first in MLS history to reach such a mark.
Kyle Beckerman, Mike Petke, Tony Beltran, and Sebastian Saucedo also joined the media this week to preview the home opener.
RSL’s injury list remains short this week:
OUT: Jordan Allen (season-ending injury) and Justen Glad (broken toe – 4-6 weeks).
3. Vancouver Whitecaps opened 2019 at home, losing to Minnesota United 2-3 last weekend. Godey put the Whitecaps up early in the game but Minnesota scored 3 consecutive goals before Vancouver could pull one back late through Henry. Both of Vancouver’s goals came off set pieces.
9 players made their debut for Vancouver against Minnesota, after a transaction-heavy off-season for the Whitecaps as they look to rebuild. Whitecaps finished the 2018 season in 8th place in the west with a record of 13-8-13 and 47 points.