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Real Salt Lake Anxiously Awaits Colorado Rapids In Must-Win Home Fixture

Keegan Rosenberry #2 of Colorado Rapids runs the ball past Justen Glad #15 of Real Salt Lake in the first half during a match in the MLS Is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on July 12, 2020 in Reunion, Florida. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The stage is set. Rio Tinto Stadium will host Real Salt Lake again as they attempt to pick up just their third victory at home this season. This time it will be against the in-form Colorado Rapids for the first of three matches in 2021.

Pivotal Fixture For RSL

The frustration is growing for RSL and its personnel. Following the recent 2-2 draw against the LA Galaxy midweek, captain Albert Rusnák addressed the media post-game clearly agitated with recent proceedings.

“I cannot even count how many times this has happened this year. I honestly don’t have an answer right now,” Rusnák said on giving up leads. “We gotta sort that out man because this isn’t the start of the season anymore, we are coming up to the midpoint of the season,” Rusnák added.

Manager Freddy Juarez is also starting to show signs of concern after he had previously constantly praised his group for the effort, determination, and intent throughout frustrating fixtures.

The pressure is as high as it has ever been for Juarez. The front office has brought players into the club, but the team is yet to live up to expectations despite a strong start to the season.

Rusnák is struggling to find the necessary form on the left wing, Rubio Rubin hasn’t scored in six games while Bobby Wood is yet to score his debut goal for the club. The problems in the attacking third have been evident as RSL is yet to prove the necessary execution in front of goal to solidify themselves as playoff contenders. Furthermore, RSL has battled to improve on chemistry and cohesion in their attacking third as they rank 24th in completed passes in the opposition’s half. They rank 17th in passing accuracy at 81.2 percent.

Don’t let the numbers fool you, however, RSL has shown periods throughout the season where they look really dangerous. It’s just, that form is yet to be proven as sustainable.

Aaron Herrera and Damir Kreilach have been the players in form this season for RSL. Herrera leads all defenders in Major League Soccer with six assists while Kreilach leads all midfielders in the goal tally with seven. Both players are up for MLS All-Star selection.

In-Form Colorado Rapids

Colorado, on the other hand, is playing their best soccer in years. They currently rank fourth in the Western Conference and are unbeaten in their last four fixtures.

Five players have scored multiple goals through 13 games with Michael Barrios leading all players with four. Jack Price leads the Rapids with five assists, Barrios has also added four assists to his four goals.

Manager Robin Fraser has been in charge since 2019. Fraser led the Rapids to a losing season in 2019 but found a winning formula in 2020 when they qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Historically, the Rapids has struggled against RSL only managing 6 wins from 28 games. RSL has 17 victories next to their name in the all-time head-to-head matchup.

The last encounter came in September of last year when Colorado won 5-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium after Douglas Martinez was shown a straight red card in the 64th minute.

Game Info

RSL and Colorado will kickoff from Rio Tinto Stadium at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 24th.

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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