Real Salt Lake is back on the road to face Minnesota United FC for the first time this season. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:
1. RSL is coming off two home wins against top western conference teams Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas, improving their home record to 8-1-1. Albert Rusnak and Luis Silva scored in RSL’s 2-0 win over FC Dallas last weekend, but it was Jefferson Savarino who took home Man of the Match honors.
“We’ve been challenging Jefferson to be focused for 90 minutes…he’s a star player with the ball at his feet…and I felt it was important to recognize that tonight.”
– Mike Petke on Savarino’s game ball
— ESPN 700 (@ESPN700) July 8, 2018
2. With the win last weekend, Real Salt Lake stayed in 4th place with a record of 9-8-2 and 29 points. Rusnak’s PK brought him to 5 goals and 4 assists, Corey Baird has 5 goals and 2 assists, Luis Silva has 5 goals, Damir Kreilach has 3 goals and 6 assists, Savarino has 3 goals and 3 assists, Joao Plata has 3 goals and 2 assists, and Sebastian “Bofo” Saucedo has 2 goals and 3 assists. Bofo’s recent performances for Real Salt Lake earned him a spot on the MLS Homegrown Team.
3. No progress has been made on the injury list since last weekend:
OUT: Tony Beltran (knee 10/15/17), Jordan Allen (knee 6/16/17), Shawn Barry (knee 3/10/18), Demar Phillips (ankle 4/7/18), Alex Horwath (achilles 4/18/18), Luke Mulholland (back 5/2/18), David Horst (achilles 6/26/18), Ricky Lopez-Espin (knee 6/13/18), and Connor Sparrow (knee 7/2/18).
4. Saturday’s match will be the first meeting of the season between RSL and Minnesota. In 2017 this series ended at 1-1-0 for Real, with home teams taking all 3 points in both matches. While RSL has been strong at home, they have been equally weak on the road with an away record of 1-7-1. RSL head coach Mike Petke believes they can turn it around once they put a full 90 minutes together on the road:
5. It’s been a wild couple weeks for Minnesota. After a dramatic 4-3 win over Toronto on July 4th, the Loons fell 3-0 on the road in Houston last weekend. Following the loss, Minnesota announced the signings of Romario Ibarra from Universidad Catolica and DP Angelo Rodriguez from Deportes Tolima. Darwin Quintero scored a hattrick against Toronto, taking him to 6 goals and 2 assists, Miguel Ibarra has 4 goals and 5 assists, and Christian Ramirez has 4 goals and 1 assist. RSL’s Damir Kreilach and Minnesota’s Miguel Ibarra are tied for second in the league with 3 match-winning assists this season.
Minnesota is 5-3-1 at home this season and has 1 win in their last 5 matches.
Minnesota United injuries:
Out: Cronin (Head), Finlay (ACL), Molino (ACL), Thiesson (Leg), Questionable Miller (Hamstring), Burch (Knee), and Danladi (Leg).
Our coverage of Real Salt Lake at Minnesota United begins on Saturday, July 14th at 5 P.M. with Tom Hackett and Spencer Warne, kick-off is at 6 P.M. with Bill Riley and Jay Nolly.