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RSL Look To Continue Their Form Against Sporting Kansas City

Real Salt Lake midfielder Everton Luiz (25) and Sporting Kansas City midfielder Felipe Gutierrez (21) get in each other's faces at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Saturday, June 29, 2019. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake, without head coach Mike Petke, are in form as they prepare to take on their Western Conference foe’s Sporting Kansas City this Saturday.

Freddy Juarez has taken over the managerial duties since MLS suspended Petke for three game, RSL have picked up 4 points from a possible 6. Including a very impressive 0-0 draw on the road against FC Dallas and a convincing 3-1 win over New York City Football Club.

SKC, on the other hand, are struggling this season. The usual dominant club sits in 10th place in the West despite coming off a very impressive 3-2 win over the 4th place Seattle Sounders away from home last Sunday.

Despite the standings, you can expect a very physical and contested contest as the two teams clash at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The History Between RSL, SKC.

  • Jun 29, 2019: RSL 2 – 0 SKC @ Rio Tinto Stadium
  • 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

RSL has the better of SKC over the past five match ups, winning twice, drawing twice and only losing on the one occasion. That loss however, knocked RSL out of their MLS Cup run during the second leg of the Conference Semifinals.

The two teams have already met this season with RSL beating SKC 2-0 after Sam Johnson scored a brace in the first half giving RSL the three points at home.

Know Your Opponent.

Peter Vermes has been in charge since 2009. The very talented New Jersey native has had great success at the helm of SKC. In 2012, Sporting won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and a year later beat Real Salt Lake in penalty shoot outs to win the 2013 MLS Cup. Vermes and SKC operate in a 4-3-3 formation.

SKC have a number of key players. Most notably Johnny Russell, unfortunately Russell has struggled with injury this season but is back and healthy. During last weeks 3-2 win over the Sounders, Russell came off the bench and got ten minutes of playing time.

Felipe Gutierez is another key member of the SKC outfit. The Chilean International joined the club in February of 2018 as a Designated Player. This season alone, Gutierez has scored 10 goals, which leads the team. He has also contributed with 2 assists on the year. He is a very talented attacking midfielder that can cause opponents problems. He scored the opening two goals during last weeks 3-2 victory over the Sounders.

RSL Clup Update.

Jefferson Savarino and Nick Besler (bench) both made the MLS Team Of The Week after their performances during last weeks 3-1 victory over NYCFC. Savarino was sensational in the attacking third for RSL while Besler came off the bench and scored the third goal of the game after a cheeky heel flick found the back of the net deep into the ninety minutes.

Albert Rusnak returned from a knee strain and scored a wicked goal in the 75th minute last week that ended up winning the MLS Goal Of The Week. The Slovakian International is pivotal to the success of RSL and will be influential, yet again, during this weeks match up.

Nedum Onuoha has returned to RSL following a short stint in England where he was sorting out Visa issues. Onuoha is a chance to return to the backline against SKC.

Sam Johnson, who is slowly returning from a quad strain, is getting closer to returning. He has been out training with the main group but is still doubtful to return this weekend against SKC.

Tony Beltran remains unavailable as he is returning from a knee injury that has sidelined him for a year and a half.

Eventon Luiz is unavailable this week as he will be serving a one match suspension due to yellow card accumulation.

Midweek RSL aquired Kelyn Rowe from Sporting Kansas City. To read more: Real Salt Lake Acquires Midfielder Kelyn Rowe.

Broadcast Info

The match against SKC will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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

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
08/03/2019
New York City FC
1
Real Salt Lake
3
08/10/2019
Real Salt Lake
2
Sporting Kansas City
1
08/14/2019
Seattle
0
Real Salt Lake
3
08/17/2019
Los Angeles FC
2
Real Salt Lake
0
08/24/2019 @ 8:00 pm
Colorado
Real Salt Lake
08/31/2019 @ 8:30 pm
Real Salt Lake
Portland
09/11/2019 @ 7:30 pm
San Jose
Real Salt Lake
09/15/2019 @ 3:30 pm
Real Salt Lake
Minnesota
09/21/2019 @ 5:30 pm
Real Salt Lake
New England
09/25/2019 @ 7:30 pm
Los Angeles
Real Salt Lake
Western Conf. Standings
W-L-T Pts.
Los Angeles FC
18-3-4 58
Minnesota
12-8-6 42
Los Angeles
13-11-2 41
Real Salt Lake
12-10-4 40
Seattle
11-8-7 40
San Jose
11-9-5 38
Portland
11-10-4 37
FC Dallas
10-10-7 37
Houston
9-13-4 31
Sporting Kansas City
8-11-7 31
Colorado
7-13-6 27
Vancouver
6-12-9 27