Local Sports

Semifinal Leg 2 Preview: Real Salt Lake at Sporting Kansas City

It all comes down to Sunday…RSL will advance to the Western Conference Final or their season will end in Kansas City.  Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:

RSL is going to Kansas City with a 1-1 draw , SKC getting an important road goal at Rio Tinto Stadium last Sunday.  Real led the match for just nine short minutes, going ahead via Albert Rusnak in the 51st minute.  But SKC equalized in the 60th minute through Diego Rubio, who had been on the field for less than a minute.

Albert Rusnak got a yellow card in each game against LAFC and SKC, landing him a suspension for the second leg at SKC.  While Rusnak has been potent on the attack for RSL, there are still many options for the Claret & Cobalt.  Damir Kreilach leads the team with 12 goals and 8 assists, Joao Plata has 8 goals and 8 assists, Corey Baird has 8 goals and 5 assists, and Jefferson Savarino has 7 goals and 11 assists.

Marcelo Silva is back on the injury report after he strained his groin in leg 1 and was substituted just before halftime for Justen Glad.  Jordan Allen (knee 6/16/17) and Alex Horwath (achilles 4/18) have been upgraded to questionable, while Tony Beltran (knee 10/15/17) has been upgraded to probable and reportedly traveled with the team for this match.

Real Salt Lake needs a result in the second leg to advance to the Western Conference Final, where they would face Portland Timbers.  A win or 2-2 or higher scoring draw would put RSL through…unless a 1-1 draw sends them to extra time where away goals no longer carry weight a team must win outright to avoid penalty kicks, as players and fans learned in Seattle Sounds vs Portland Timbers on Thursday night.

RSL men Rusnak and Savarino have once again been called up to their respective national teams and will report after the second leg.  Rusnak will join Slovakia for two matches: Nov. 16 vs. Ukraine and Nov. 20 at Czech Republic while  Savarino will join Venezuela for two matches: Nov. 16 at Japan and Nov. 20 at Iran.

SKC forward Johnny Russell has been called up to the Scotland national team and will join the team for one match: Nov. 20 vs. Israel.

Our coverage of Real Salt Lake at Sporting Kansas City begins on Sunday, November 11 at 12 PM with Spencer Warne and Tom Hacket, kick-off is at 1 PM with Bill Riley and Jay Nolly.


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