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Albert Rusnak - Real Salt Lake - LAFC
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Real Salt Lake Seeks Revenge As LAFC Road Encounter Approaches

Real Salt Lake midfielder Albert Rusnak (11) reacts to missing a shot on goal as Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles FC play an MLS game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. (Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake is seeking revenge as they travel to Banc of California Stadium and a date with Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) this upcoming Saturday, July 17th.

RSL Seeking Revenge

Earlier this month on July 3rd, LAFC stole three points in a frustrating fixture at Rio Tinto Stadium against RSL. It was yet another game in that RSL looked to be the more dominant side but failed to find the answers in front of the goal.

“We go in with a positive outlook just because of the way we played them at home,” RSL Assistant Coach Matt Taylor said earlier this week. “It helps in our mentality knowing that we can go in there and make a push and if we play our game and play well we know that we can have an influence on the game,” he added.

LAFC, on the other hand, was able to capitalize on their opportunities during the July 3rd contest when their only shot on target beat David Ochoa and gifted LAFC the lead late in the second half.

Since then, RSL and LAFC have only played one match, and both secured dominant victories against Vancouver and Austin respectively.

Jose Cifuentes In Form

LAFC attacking midfielder Jose Cifuentes came off the bench against RSL and scored the game’s only goal three minutes after gracing the pitch. A week later against Austin, he was warranted a starting role and scored the games opening goal of that fixture as well.

RSL, however, dominated Vancouver 4-0 in a prolific victory. Damir Kreilach scored a brace and was rewarded by being named the MLS Player of the Week award, he was also included in the MLS Team of the Week for his efforts.

“I think what makes him so good and so dangerous is his timing getting into the box,” LAFC Manager Bob Bradley said midweek. “His ability to drift to the back post and score goals with his head, look, he is a smart player. He is always a player that we talk about a lot and show lots of video on anytime we play them,” Bradley added.

Kreilach has scored 7 goals to date this season which leads all midfielders across the league and sits only behind LA Galaxy striker Chicharito, and Seattle striker Raúl Ruidíaz on the league leaderboard for goals scored.

RSL Roster Additions

RSL also added a handful of players to its roster ahead of the fixture against LAFC. Croatian defender Toni Datković will be available for selection for the first time this season after joining the main training group earlier in the week.

Argentine winger Jonathan Menéndez will also be available for selection despite arriving in Utah on Wednesday. He contracted Covid-19 within a 90-day window and is therefore available for selection immediately. Menéndez trained with the main group for the first time today.

LAFC has also been bolstered by an addition to their roster as they welcomed back Young Designated Player Brian Rodriguez from his loan spell with UD Almeria of Spain’s LaLiga 2. Rodriguez has appeared in 26 games for LAFC over two seasons where he has produced 2 goals and 7 assists for the Yellow and Black.

He was most recently with the Uruguayan National Team at the Copa America tournament but was unable to find any playing time.

Match Info

RSL and LAFC will kickoff at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 17 at Banc of California Stadium.

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