Real Salt Lake Preparing To Host Western Conference Rivals Sporting Kansas City

Jun 28, 2019, 4:01 PM | Updated: 4:11 pm
Real Salt Lake forward Corey Baird (27) blasts a shot past Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Meli...
Real Salt Lake forward Corey Baird (27) blasts a shot past Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia (29) and into the net during the Real Salt Lake versus Sporting KC at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. (Steve Griffin/Deseret News)
(Steve Griffin/Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake are coming off a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire, while Sporting Kansas City are coming off a 1-0 win away from home against the Columbus Crew. RSL and SKC are set to meet at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night at 8 p.m.

For Real Salt Lake the game itself has big implications as they hover above the playoff line. A win and they could start their climb up the Western Conference in their hopes of solidifying yet another playoff spot. A loss and they could fall below the playoff line. The match against SKC will be the first of two home games for RSL this week and an opportunity to potentially pick up six points.

The History Between RSL, SKC

Nov 11, 2018: SKC 4 – 2 RSL @ Children’s Mercy Park
Nov 4, 2018: RSL 1 – 1 SKC @ Rio Tinto Stadium
Sep 30, 2018: SKC 1 – 1 RSL @ Children’s Mercy Park
Jul 4, 2018: RSL 4 – 2 SKC @ Rio Tinto Stadium
Oct 22, 2017: RSL 2 – 1 SKC @ Rio Tinto Stadium

RSL and SKC met during the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs when SKC advanced over the course of two legs with a 5-3 aggregate score. History says that the game on Saturday will be closely contested, both teams will more than likely play a very physical and honest brand of soccer.

Not The Season SKC Were Hoping For

This is not the SKC we are used to seeing. For years, SKC have been somewhere near the top of the Western Conference, however this season they currently sit in 10th spot and one point outside of the playoff line.

Star man Johnny Russell has been good, the Scottish winger has produced some very impressive soccer over the years and this year he continuous to amaze. He leads the team in goals with 7, along with Felipe Gutierrez and Krisztian Nemeth and also leads the team in assists with 3, tied with Gerso Fernandes and Ilie Sanchez.

Stopping Johnny Russell will be a tough task for Aaron Herrera and Donny Toia. Both Herrera and Toia have not been in the best of form and will be asked to stop one of Major League Soccer’s best players.

If SKC are to beat RSL, you should expect Johnny Russell to have a big day out on Rio Tinto Stadium.

RSL Club Update

RSL are healthy, with the only player listed as questioanable being Tony Beltran, who has been out with a knee injury for seemingly forever. Beltran is back with the main training group and is a chance to see his first minutes of the season.

Sam Johnson did not start against the Chicago Fire but did come off the bench and get 14 minutes of playing time. Damir Kreilach, who started as the striker was unable to have much of an impact on the game. It will be interesting to see what RSL head coach Mike Petke does at the striking position against SKC.

Nick Rimando madethe MLS All Star team for the eight time in his career after commissioner Don Garber used one of his two commisioner picks to add the RSL and MLS legend. Rimando is scheduled to be in Orlando, Florida on Wednesday, July 31st as the MLS All Star Team prepares to take on Spanish giants Atletico Madrid. The match sits in between two MLS games for Rimando and is not expected to miss any action for RSL.
For more on the Rimando story: RSL GK Nick Rimando Earns Eighth MLS All-Star Selection

Broadcast Info

The match against Sporting Kansas City will kickoff at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

The match can be streamed live on or on the KSL TV app.

RSL Podcasts, in collaboration with Real Salt Lake, has launched a new podcast, The RSL Lion’s Den. It is the official Real Salt Lake podcast for all club news and updates. KSL Sports analysts Tom Hackett and Spencer Warne, along with RSL PR director Matt Gashck break down the games and discuss important club matters.

To listen to The Lion’s Den, click here. It is available on iTunes, Google Play or wherever podcasts are found. Please rate and subscribe to The Lion’s Den for all things Real Salt Lake.

Head coach Mike Petke and TV analyst Brian Dunseth have launched their own podcast titled Off The Chest. The duo discuss all matters of the world’s game in a entertaining and informative podcast that will be sure bring the laughs.

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