Real Salt Lake To Welcome Zlatan To Rio Tinto Stadium

Aug 31, 2018, 12:57 AM | Updated: Sep 18, 2018, 6:52 pm

SANDY, Utah – Coming off a major 6-0 win over the Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake will welcome Major League Soccer’s biggest star, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, to Rio Tinto Stadium.

In preparation to host the league’s most polarizing star, Real Salt Lake is going in with the mindset that Ibrahimovic is the LA Galaxy’s most dangerous weapon.

The plan, according to head coach Mike Petke, may be drastic.

“Quadrupole-team him, get a taller center back in here,” said Petke when asked what how to defend the 6’5” Ibrahimovic. “He’s a beast. He single-handedly won the game for them against us last time.”

Petke also stated that he’d like the team to play “tougher,” adding that he, a former center back, would deliver a nice, hard tackle early in the game if he were to play against Ibrahimovic.

Known for his brash personality and high goal-scoring volume, Ibrahimovic and his LA Galaxy are coming off a 1-1 draw to their crosstown rivals, Los Angeles FC, a result that left a bitter taste in their mouth. Ibrahimovic scored the lone goal for the Galaxy in the 15th minute, but surrendered a penalty kick goal in the second half and couldn’t convert another goal to finish with a tie. Postgame, a disappointed Ibrahimovic commented that the Galaxy “should have won the game easy.”

Holding on to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, Ibrahimovic, Sweden’s all-time leader in goals scored, said that the Galaxy has what it takes to move on to the postseason.

“We have everything in our hands. Hopefully the other teams lose the points and we can make it,” he said.

The game will be played Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium Saturday night at 8 p.m.

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