After a week off due to international break, Real Salt Lake is back in action at Rio Tinto Stadium to face Minnesota United. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:
1. Real Salt Lake’s last match was two weeks ago, beating the Los Angeles Galaxy 6-2 in front of a Rio Tinto record 21,363 fans. The win marked the first time in MLS history a team scored six goals in two consecutive matches (Aug. 25 RSL at Colorado 6-0). Damir Kreilach was named MLS Player of the Week after netting his first MLS hattrick, while Albert Rusnak tacked on two goals (including a Goal of the Week winner) and one assist, and Jefferson Savarino added one goal and two assists which earned him Audi Player Index top honors for the third consecutive week. But the night was stolen by an unexpected guest and RSL’s unofficial new mascot…
“We’re in fourth place right now, starting 4 or 5 homegrown players and without a true #9 and that’s a credit to these guys.”
– Mike Petke@RealSaltLake
— ESPN 700 (@ESPN700) September 2, 2018
Albert Rusnak leads the team with 10 goals and 7 assists, Damir Kreilach has 10 goals and 6 assists, Joao Plata’s two assists against LAG brought him to 8 goals and 7 assists, and Jefferson Savarino has 6 goals and 10 assists.
2. Saturday’s match will be the second of the season between RSL and MNU, the first ending in a 3-2 road loss for Real and providing RSL fans with another iconic Petke rant. Since that July 14th meeting, RSL has gone 4-1-3 and kept their spot above the playoff line. RSL maintains their impressive home record this season at 10-1-3 and is the only Western Conference team with ten home wins. Head Coach Mike Petke previewed the match:
OUT: Tony Beltran (knee 10/15/17), Jordan Allen (knee 6/16/17), Alex Horwath (achilles 4/18), Demar Phillips (hamstring 9/10), David Horst (achilles 6/26)
QUESTIONABLE: Marcelo Silva (ankle 8/14), Connor Sparrow (knee 7/2), Luis Silva (groin 9/10)
3. Minnesota United FC currently sit in 9th place in the west at 9-16-2 and 29 points. Since facing RSL at home in mid-July, MNU has gone 2-5-1, been outscored by opponents 16-13, and conceded two or more goals in each of their last six matches. The Loons are currently on a three-match losing streak and a loss at Salt Lake would tie the club’s record. Saturday’s match will be Minnesota’s second visit to Rio Tinto Stadium, the first ending in a 1-0 for the Loons last summer. Darwin Quintero leads Minnesota with 10 goals and 9 assists, Christian Ramirez has 7 goals and 2 assists, Miguel Ibarra has 6 goals and 7 assists, and Ibson has 4 goals and 3 assists. Minnesota has a road record of 1-12-1, their lone road win back on March 10 at Orlando, and have been outscored 37-15 on the road in 2018.
OUT: Sam Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction), Kevin Molino (torn ACL), Ethan Finlay (torn ACL)
QUESTIONABLE: Eric Miller (undisclosed)
Our coverage of Real Salt Lake versus Minnesota United FC on REWIND 100.7 FM begins on Saturday, September 15 at 6:30 P.M. with Lauren Mason Beck and JP Chunga, kick-off is at 7:30 P.M. with Spencer Warne and Jay Nolly.