RSL Looks To Turn It Around In Crucial Road Test Against New England Revolution

Sep 19, 2019, 9:58 AM
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake...
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake hope to turn their recent away form around this Saturday as they prepare to take on the New England Revolution.

A disappointing 3-1 defeat at the hands of Minnesota United a week ago lingers in the minds of the players as they continue to fight for a playoff spot.

Currently, RSL sits in 4th in the Western Conference. Dropping two spots after the loss to Minnesota. The Galaxy climbed back into the playoff picture and sit just one point behind RSL in 5th while Minnesota climbed into 3rd and are two points clear of RSL.

New England are a very good outfit. Former manager Brad Friedel was fired on May 9th after the team started 2-8-2. Former USMNT manager Bruce Arena, took over the duties and has transformed the Revs into playoff contention. They currently sit in 7th and are holding on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The History Between RSL, New England

Oct 18, 2018: RSL 4 – 1 NE @ Rio Tinto Stadium
May 13, 2017: NE 4 – 0 RSL @ Gillette Stadium
Jul 16, 2016: RSL 0 – 0 @ Rio Tinto Stadium
Apr 25, 2015: NE 4 – 0 RSL @ Gillette Stadium
Jul 4, 2014: RSL 2 – 1 NE @ Rio Tinto Stadium

History does not bode well for RSL. The last two encounters at Gillette Stadium, the visitors have lost 4-0 and have never looked like picking up points.

However, this year is a different and RSL are playing a different brand of football. The possession style that Freddy Juarez has implemented will allow RSL to control the tempo of the game. If RSL can get off to a good start and not concede an early goal, RSL will have a great opportunity to pick up valuable points on the road.

Get To Know Your Opponent

Bruce Arena operates in a traditional 4-4-2 formation. Controlling the midfield will be a challenge for RSL, who play in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The likes of Rusnak, Kreilach and Savarino will be relied upon to defend more so than other games, simply due to the number New England have in their midfield.

Carles Gil, who plays as a right midfielder, has been the star for the Revs thus far this season. The Spaniard has spent time playing at top-flight European Clubs such as Valencia and Aston Villa. He leads the team with 9 goals and 14 assists. His speed and skill makes for a very difficult matchup.

New England are coming off a 3-3 draw away from home against Orlando City.

Despite being in 7th in the East, and winning more games than not as of late, the Revs have the fourth worst goal differential in the Eastern Conference. They have conceded 52 goals and have a difficult time keeping opponents out of their own goal.

After the recent 3-3 draw against Orlando, Arena was upset with how the team played in the second half.

“We need to learn how to be consistent over 90 minutes,” Arena said on a number of occasions following the draw.

The Revs conceded two goals early in the second half and were fortunate to leave Exploria Stadium with a point.

RSL Club Update

Earlier this week, Tony Beltran announced his retirement following the 2019 season. Beltran has been at the club for 12 years and has been unable to find match fitness following a knee injury suffered late in the 2017 season against the Colorado Rapids. The man responsible for his career-ending injury, Domonique Badji, has yet to apologize for the challenge.

Beltran is the second RSL player to announce his retirement this season. MLS legend and long time shot stopper Nick Rimando will also hang the boots up at the conclusion of the 2019 season.

In other news, former RSL manager Mike Petke has filed a lawsuit against the club and owner Dell Loy Hansen claiming that the club owes him the remaining $700,000 that was left on his contract. The club responded with a statement:

“Real Salt Lake (“RSL”) is aware of the lawsuit filed by former head coach Mike Petke.  As previously reported by RSL, Mr. Petke’s employment was terminated for cause based upon statements and actions that are unbecoming of RSL representatives, especially our head coach.  The organization stands firmly behind that difficult decision.”

Acting interim manager Freddy Juarez has his mind set on the Revs as he prepares his team for a crucial road test this Saturday.

RSL midfielder, Kelyn Rowe, returns to New England for the first time as a member of RSL. Rowe played 206 games for New England scoring on 29 occasions. Canadian midfielder and New England’s number 10 told the media midweek that “when the game starts, I am going to run through him [Rowe].”

Broadcast Information

Real Salt Lake takes on the New England Revolution with kick-off at Gillette Stadium scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. The match can be streamed live on the KSL TV app and

New England are currently in 7th place in the Eastern Conference and are coming off a 3-3 draw away from home against Orlando.

Reminder 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 your club news and updates. Tom Hackett, Spencer Warne and RSL’s Director of PR, Matt Gaschk 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. Don’t forget to rate and subscribe!

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