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RSL vs Sporting Kansas City Preview – Open Cup Round 4

Real Salt Lake will face Sporting Kansas City in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt Open Cup on Wednesday, June 6th.  Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:

1.  Real Salt Lake is fresh off a 2-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC, their 3rd straight victory overall and 6th straight at home where they are now 6-1-0 on the season.  Wednesday’s match will be the first of the season between rivals RSL and SKC.  The last time these two teams met at Rio Tinto, Real took all three points in a 2-1 victory on the last day of league play.  RSL is 5-1-3 in the last nine MLS matches against SKC, who hasn’t won at Rio Tinto since July 2013.  Head coach Mike Petke says RSL has to continue to dig deep during this stretch of games:

2.  Real Salt Lake hasn’t made it out of the Open Cup fourth round since their 2015 run to the semi-finals.  2017’s Open Cup campaign was short-lived as Real, featuring mostly Real Monarchs players, lost 4-1 to Sacramento Republic.  RSL midfielder Nick Besler, from Overland, KS, grew up watching his brother Matt Besler play for the U.S. men’s national team and Sporting Kansas City and is excited about the possibility of playing against his big brother professionally for the first time:

RSL is 11-12-3 overall in Open Cup play.  Here’s how the last 5 years of Open Cup play has gone for Real Salt Lake:

2017 – loss at Sacramento Republic 4-1.

2016 – loss vs Seattle Sounders in PKs 4-1.

2015 – win vs Sounders FC 2 2-1; win vs Portland 2-0; and win vs LA; loss at SKC 3-1 in semi-final.

2014 – loss at Atlanta Silverbacks 2-1.

2013 – win vs Atlanta Silverbacks 3-2; win vs Charleston Battery 5-2; win vs Carolina Railhawks 3-0; win vs Portland Timbers 2-1; loss vs D.C. United 1-0 in Open Cup final at Rio Tinto Stadium.

3.  Sporting has seen great success in the Open Cup and has a record of 15-3-3 since 2012 and four Open Cup championships (2004, 2012, 2015, 2017).  The reigning Open Cup champions knocked RSL out of the Open Cup semifinal in 2015 on their way to the title that year.  Sporting has a road record of 3-1-2 so far in MLS play and sit in first in the western conference with 28 points.

The winner of the 2018 Open Cup will receive $300,000 and a berth in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.  The runner-up will receive $100,000.

Our coverage of Real Salt Lake versus Sporting Kansas City will begin on Wednesday, June 6th at 7 PM with Tom Hackett and Spencer Warne, kick-off at 8 PM with Bill Riley and Jay Nolly on ESPN700 AM,, and the ESPN700 app on android and apple.

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