Real Salt Lake will play their final home match of the 2018 regular season on Thursday when they host New England Revolution, here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:
1. Real Salt Lake suffered just their second home loss of the season falling 4-1 to Portland Timbers. RSL hadn’t lost at Rio Tinto since their home opener on March 10th against LAFC, snapping a 14-match unbeaten streak. Jefferson Savarino was RSL’s lone goalscorer against Timbers, bringing his season total to 7 goals and 11 assists.
Damir Kreilach still leads RSL with 11 goals and 6 assists. Albert Rusnak has 10 goals and 7 assists, Joao Plata has 8 goals and 7 assists, Corey Baird has 7 goals and 4 assists, and Luis Silva has 5 goals.
2. Kyle Beckerman and Sunny both received yellow cards against Portland and will subsequently be suspended for Thursday’s match due to accumulation. Brooks Lennon and Marcelo Silva are also facing suspension if either one receives another yellow card. With Sunny and Kyle both suspended on Thursday, RSL will likely look to Damir Kreilach and Luke Mulholland to fill in the defensive midfield, a pairing we haven’t seen yet. Mulholland has played an important role for RSL the last few seasons but has seen just one minute of play in 2018 due to a back injury that kept him sidelined from mid-March to September. Though RSL has been on international break, Albert Rusnak, Jefferson Savarino, Joao Plata, and Shawn Barry have been busy with their national teams. All four players are scheduled to return before Thursday’s match, but fatigue and travel will play a role in their play time.
3. Real Salt Lake is still in control of their playoff destiny, sitting in 6th place at 46 points, but New England Revolution have been eliminated from playoff contention. RSL is 9-6-5 all-time and 5-2-3 at home against the Revs. The Revs are 2-8-6 on the road in 2018, scoring an average of 1.2 goals and conceding an average of 1.9 goals on the road. Cristian Penilla leads the Revs with 12 goals and 7 assists, Teal Bunbury has 11 goals and 4 assists, and Diego Fagundez has 8 goals and 9 assists.
Our coverage of Real Salt Lake vs New England Revolution begins on Thursday, October 18 at 6 P.M. with Spencer Warne and Tom Hackett, kick-off at 7 P.M. with Bill Riley and Jay Nolly.