REAL SALT LAKE

Vancouver Whitecaps Host Real Salt Lake As Pressure Mounts On ‘Visitors’

Jul 7, 2021, 11:30 AM
Justin Meram of Real Salt Lake attacks down the left wing during Vancouvers 2-1 victory at Rio Tint...
Justin Meram of Real Salt Lake attacks down the left wing during Vancouvers 2-1 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium. Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Vancouver Whitecaps will host Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium this evening in a pivotal fixture for the trajectory of both clubs.

Vancouver enters the contest coming off a 2-2 draw on the road against Dallas while RSL suffered another agonizing defeat at home against LAFC.

Pressure On RSL

The pressure is mounting on RSL as they continue to search for a winning formula. Throughout the course of this season, RSL has looked like the dominant team in matches but is yet to prove that they have the ability to close out games.

The past two fixtures for RSL have told a similar story. Against Houston on June 26th at home they drew 1-1 after dominating the majority of the contest, however, they allowed Houston to score on the counter-attack in what was Houston’s first good opportunity to find the back of the net. Then, a week later against LAFC on July 3rd, RSL looked like the more likely team to score. However, one lapse in concentration defensively and RSL went home without securing any points.

Despite the continued frustration, RSL remains poised in the face of adversity. The players and coaching staff continue to reiterate the importance of staying positive and seem determined to turn the tide and capitalize on the many opportunities in which they are creating throughout games.

“I do not think that it is hard to stay positive,” RSL captain Albert Rusnak said following the LAFC loss. “Games are coming fast one after another and we have another game Wednesday so I feel like we should be frustrated after tonight, we have to start scoring goals after we create all of these good looks,” Rusnak added.

Vancouver Finding Form

Vancouver, on the other hand, has begun to find some form after a stretch that included five consecutive losses including a 3-1 loss against RSL on June 18.

Their last two fixtures have been 2-2 draws against Seattle and Dallas, respectively.

The recent 3-1 victory for RSL over Vancouver did not come easily, however, it took 92 minutes for the game-winning goal to be scored by Erik Holt. Damir Kreilach then put the cherry on top of the cake when he added a third for the hosts to further solidify the three points.

Earlier in that game, RSL dominated the chances throughout the first half but was unable to capitalize on their dominance. Vancouver responded early in the second half when they equalized, the momentum quickly changed in favor of the Whitecaps and RSL looked uneasy defending.

Vancouver last played on July 4th, while RSL lost to LAFC on July 3rd giving RSL an extra one day of rest prior to the midweek encounter.

Both clubs enter the contest relatively healthy. However, given the short turnaround from their previous fixtures, this match will likely test the depth of both clubs as they look to put fresh and healthy players on the pitch.

Vancouver will be without striker Lucas Cavallini and goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau as they were selected to the Canadian International Team for their upcoming Gold Cup fixtures. Expect Brian White who scored Vancouver’s only goal against RSL last time to replace Cavallini and 21-year-old Thomas Hasal to replace Crépeau in goal.

Match Info

RSL and Vancouver will kick off at 8 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday, July 7th.

The match will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports & KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot com.

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Vancouver Whitecaps Host Real Salt Lake As Pressure Mounts On ‘Visitors’