Real Salt Lake are headed back to Rio Tinto Stadium for the first of two matches against Portland Timbers in October. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:
1. RSL picked up a point on the road versus Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, keeping them in the playoff picture. After going up 1-0 in the 9th minute thanks to Corey Baird, RSL maintained their lead through the remainder of the first half but conceded early in the second and the match ended 1-1.
Baird’s goal brought him to 7 goals and 4 assists but it’s Damir Kreilach who 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, Jefferson Savarino has 6 goals and 11 assists, and Luis Silva has 5 goals.
2. Nedum Onuohu made his first appearance for RSL in Kansas City, subbing on for Joao Plata in the 88th minute to help secure the draw. Albert Rusnak starting the match on the bench after joining the team late and missing Saturday’s training session. At kick-off on Sunday, Fox Soccer analyst Stu Holden reported that Rusnak was late because he was negotiating a new contract but that has yet to be officially confirmed by the club.
With 3 matches remaining, RSL sits in 6th place at 13-11-7 and 46 points. RSL are 10-1-4 at Rio Tinto Stadium in 2018, going undefeated at home since losing their March 10th home opener. Real are 7-5-7 all-time and 5-3-2 at home against Portland. With Portland sitting just two points and two spots ahead of them, the remaining matches between these teams will have major playoff implications:
OUT: Tony Beltran (knee 10/15/17), Jordan Allen (knee 6/16/17), Alex Horwath (achilles 4/18), David Horst (achilles 6/26)
QUESTIONABLE: Demar Phillips (hamstring 9/10), Marcelo Silva (left adductor 9/22)
3. Portland Timbers currently sit in 4th place at 13-9-9 and 48 points and are coming off a 0-0 draw against Dallas. Portland are 3-7-5 on the road in 2018 and haven’t won an away match since June 30. Diego Valeri leads Portland with 10 goals and 10 assists, Samuel Armenteros has 8 goals and 1 assist, and Sebastian Blanco has 7 goals and 9 assists. Former RSL goalkeeper Jeff Attinella (shoulder) is questionable for this match, as is Alvas Powell (head injury). Roy Miller (thigh) and Jake Gleeson (tibia) have been ruled out.
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