Real Salt Lake Set To Face Timbers In Crucial Match At Home
SANDY, Utah – RSL is hoping to stay above the playoff line on Saturday when they face the Portland Timbers at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL comes into the critical match with 46 points at 13-11-7. That is good enough for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, one point behind the Seattle Sounders for fifth place. The Los Angeles Galaxy are right on RSL’s heels with 44 points.
Real Salt Lake is coming off of an important 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
The Timbers are in fourth place in the West with 48 points at 13-9-9. They are two points behind LAFC for the third spot in the playoff chase. They played FC Dallas to a 0-0 draw at home in their last match.
Real Salt Lake Controls Destiny In Playoff Race
With three games remaining, two of which are at home, RSL controls their playoff destiny. If they take care of business, the LA Galaxy can’t catch them.
RSL head coach Mike Petke likes the position that his team is in but can’t be satisfied.
“We know we have our own fate in our own hands as opposed to last year,” he said. “It gives us a lot more comfort in not having to scoreboard watch. As long as we take care of our situation, nothing else matters,” Petke added.
The Galaxy have two road games against Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United FC before their final regular season match at home against the Houston Dynamo.
First Meeting Between These Two Teams
With three matches remaining, Saturday will be the first matchup of the season against Portland. They will meet again in Portland in the regular season finale on October 21.
In 2017, RSL swept the Timbers in their two regular season matches. They picked up a 4-1 win in Portland and a 2-1 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Petke feels that his team is ready to face the Timbers in a crucial match.
“It’s a big game, the players and staff know it,” he added. “The attitude and work rate has been phenomenal all week leading up to this game, they are excited for this game,” Petke said.
RSL Successful at Rio Tinto Stadium
The club has been dominant in front of the RSL faithful, posting a 10-1-4 record. Their lone loss was to LAFC 5-1 in their home opener on March 10.
Only two more regular season games at home for RSL and they hope to make them count. After the Portland match on Saturday, they will host the New England Revolution on Thursday, October 18th.
Glance At The Timbers
Midfielder Diego Valeri leads the charge for Portland, scoring 10 goals and has added 10 assists, both lead the team. The 32-year old from Argentina is itching to find the back of the net. He hasn’t scored a goal in the last four matches and has scored just once in the last 10 games.
Even though RSL hasn’t faced Portland this season, Mike Petke knows how good they are and can be dangerous.
“We watched them plenty, we know how dangerous they are and they are a really good team,” he said.
Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers will square off on Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. First kick is at 7:30 p.m. on the KSL TV app.