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Real Salt Lake Face Road Challenge In D.C.

Real Salt Lake midfielder Damir Kreilach (8) celebrates with Albert Rusnak (11) after Rusnak nailed a penalty kick during the Real Salt Lake versus Vancouver Whitecaps soccer match at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Saturday, March 9, 2019. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake enters Week 3 of Major League Soccer action with 4 points next to their name.

A mature point on the road against Houston and a 1-0 victory at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps last week has the team excited for the challenge ahead against D.C. United this Saturday.

“The mentality has to be the same,” Petke said during his weekly press conference. “We are going to have to be on point with our defending.” He added when talking about the upcoming match at D.C. United.

A Complete Team: D.C. United

This week, the largest test of the season awaits RSL as they travel to the east coast and face a very talented D.C. United club at Audi Field.

D.C. United also has 4 points this season thus far. Their resume is slightly better than RSL’s. They beat the reigning champs, Atlanta United in their season opener at home and then kept NYCFC scoreless on the road at Yankee Stadium to pick up a valuable point.

Headlined by an explosive attack, Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta have combined for 22 goals since the start of the 2018 season and were both featured in the 2018 MLS Best XI.

DC United compliment a dynamic attack with a fearless defense as they are yet to concede a goal this year and have played two very talented attacking teams.

Players To Watch

Wayne Rooney: The ball runs through Rooney. He is the target man who can beat you in a multitude of ways. Rooney is one of the greatest English soccer players to ever play the beautiful game and at the age of 33, he has revamped his career by coming to Major League Soccer.

Luciano Acosta: When Rooney joined D.C. back in July of 2018, Acosta took his game to a new level. The young Argentinian finished the 2018 season with 10 goals and 17 assists. He was rumored to be on the move during the off season and was headed to Paris Saint-Germain F.C, a European powerhouse in which the likes of Neymar and Mbappe play for. The move never happened and Acosta found himself back where he began, D.C. united.

Paul Arriola: A young and exciting American, who has added a spark to the clubs’ attack. Arriola had a break out year in 2018, as he started 25 games and scored 7 times for the Black and Red. Watch for Arriola to use his pace down the flanks.

Bill Hamid: The 28 year-old American goalkeeper is on loan from Danish Supaliga team FC Midtjylland and plays a very big role for D.C. United. Last season, he notched 5 clean sheets and made 51 saves. This year, Hamid has already made 8 saves and 2 shutouts to his name.

RSL’s Game Plan

The biggest questions that the fans will have this week is which line up will Mike Petke play.

Throughout the first two weeks, despite playing one game on the road and one game at home, Petke has played the same 4-2-3-1 formation.

Will the recent formation history repeat itself? Only time will tell.

Real Salt Lake will be relying on a strong defensive performance if they intend on picking up points at Audi Field on Saturday. Expect the defensive effort to quickly turn into counter attacking opportunities.

Score Prediction

DC United 2 – Real Salt Lake 2

After a strong start to the season, it will take a true team effort to get a result away from home against D.C. United.

The match will be streamed on KSLSports.com as well as the KSL TV app. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday.