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Real Salt Lake Prepare For Third MLS Game In Seven Days

Real Salt Lake forward Sam Johnson (50) celebrates a goal with fans as Real Salt Lake and Columbus Crew play a Major League Soccer game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will head to San Jose on Saturday after picking up six points and two clean sheets already this week with wins coming against Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew.

Despite winning both matches, it has not come easy for RSL as their 1-0 win over Columbus on Wednesday night came with criticism from head coach Mike Petke.

“When we are at our best it is far from what we were tonight,” he said after the win over the Columbus Crew.

The History Between San Jose, RSL

  • Jul 28, 2018: SJ 0 – 0 RSL @ Avaya Stadium
  • Jun 23, 2018: RSL 1 – 1 SJ @ Rio Tinto Stadium
  • Aug 23, 2017: RSL 4 – 0 SJ @ Rio Tinto Stadium
  • Jun 24, 2017: SJ 2 – 1 RSL @ Avaya Stadium
  • Oct 1, 2016: SJ 2 – 1 RSL @ Avaya Stadium

Who Are San Jose?

San Jose is a team that has risen from the depths of the Western Conference and now sit just one point below RSL in 8th place.

Long time MLS and United States Men’s National Team player Chris Wondolowski leads the Earthquakes with eight goals on the year. The 36-year-old now has a five goal buffer on Landon Donovan as the all-time leading goal scorer in MLS history with 150. He is a threat both with the ball at his feet and in the air. It will be a difficult night for whoever may play at center back on Saturday.

Cristian Espinoza leads the team with seven assists. The Argentinian international, who is on a season long loan from Villarreal, causes havoc on the right wing. Utilizing his speed and touch to confuse defenders. Espinoza is looking for Wondolowski when he runs down the right flank, the duo have become a very dangerous threat for opposing defenders.

San Jose is coming off a 3-1 loss against Minnesota United, their only loss in their last six MLS games. They, also, will be playing their third game in seven days.

Head coach Matias Almeyda plays a 4-2-3-1 formation, very similar to how Petke and RSL line up.

RSL Clup Update

The only player who is on the injury report is Tony Beltran, who is still a few weeks out from potentially being selected by Petke. Beltran has been sidelined for a year and a half after then Colorado Rapid striker Domonique Badji clattered into the long time MLS veteran.

Striker Sam Johnson, who scored the only goal of the game against the Columbus Crew, leads the team with eight goals on the season, hurt his right thigh late in the first half against Columbus. Johnson was seen with ice strapped to his thigh in the second half and is unlikely to play against San Jose.

Mike Petke has tinkered with his lineup over the last two games, as expected considering they are playing three games within seven days. Expect the lineup to change yet again for Saturdays encounter with San Jose.

Broadcast Info

The match against San Jose will kickoff at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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

RSL Podcasts

KSLSports.com, 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 Spencer Warne, along with RSL PR director Matt Gashck and I break down the games and discuss important club matters.

RSL Schedule
09/21/2019
Real Salt Lake
0
New England
0
09/25/2019
Los Angeles
2
Real Salt Lake
1
09/29/2019
Houston
1
Real Salt Lake
2
10/06/2019
Real Salt Lake
1
Vancouver
0
10/19/2019 @ 8:00 pm
Portland
Real Salt Lake
Western Conf. Standings
W-L-T Pts.
Los Angeles FC
21-4-9 72
Seattle
16-10-8 56
Real Salt Lake
16-13-5 53
Minnesota
15-11-8 53
Los Angeles
16-15-3 51
Portland
14-13-7 49
FC Dallas
13-12-9 48
San Jose
13-16-5 44
Colorado
12-16-6 42
Houston
12-18-4 40
Sporting Kansas City
10-16-8 38
Vancouver
8-16-10 34