Real Salt Lake Preview Ahead Of First Rio Tinto Derby
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will be looking to assert its dominance over temporary visitors Vancouver Whitecaps this evening. Both clubs have been playing their home games at Rio Tinto Stadium due to ongoing immigration regulations between Canada & the United States.
Both clubs are only separated by two points on the standings with RSL having the advantage and sitting in 8th place while Vancouver three places lower in 11th. The game marks the first game back following the FIFA international break, allowing both teams to enter the fixture in full health.
Know Your Foe
Colombian striker Cristian Dájome, who joined the club last year from Atlético Nacional, leads the team with three goals on the season. A handful of teammates have scored one goal including Lucas Cavallini and Deiber Caicedo, but Dájome remains as the only player who has scored multiple goals on the season.
Left-back Cristián Gutiérrez leads the club in assists. The speedster has done a tremendous job thus far this season in getting involved in the attack and whipping dangerous balls into the area.
The Whitecaps began their season in perfect fashion with a 1-0 victory over Portland at Rio Tinto Stadium. However, since then have only managed just one more victory in six attempts. They enter the fixture against RSL on a two-game losing streak.
RSL enters the fixture well-rested and excited for a return to its winning ways. RSL’s start to the 2021 season provided many challenges that were a result of self-inflicted wounds and mishaps.
The break gave manager Freddy Juarez and the team a chance to sort through their concerns like conceding multiple goals late in games.
The addition of Bobby Wood has bolstered the team’s ability to score. Although, the odds of a Wood sighting against Vancouver are slim as he slowly returns to full fitness following a two-month break from competitive games due to the birth of his second child.
Nonetheless, RSL will likely rely on Rubio Rubin to find the back of the net this evening against Vancouver. Rubin leads RSL in goals and has been the brightest addition to the club since a year ago.
Anderson Julio has also played admirably this season. Captain Albert Rusnak will be looking to find form for the first time this season.
Has RSL figured out how to close out games? Or will they continue to concede late goals and squander more opportunities to win games they deserve.
Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. and can be streamed for free via the KSL 5 TV app or on KSL Sports dot com.
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