Real Salt Lake Has Five Big Games Remaining, Some Bigger Than Others
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake currently finds itself in the eighth position with a game in hand in the western conference, but with five regular-season games remaining a lot can change between now and November 7th.
RSL’s Run Home
As it currently stands, Real Salt Lake fell from the fifth position to the eighth following other results midweek. The remaining five games are not all must-win fixtures, however, some of them seem much more important than others.
This weekend’s road encounter against the Chicago Fire is an interesting game. The Fire is 12th in the eastern conference with very little hope and expectation of qualifying for the post-season. Real Salt Lake is a far more superior team than the Fire, however, with the challenges that MLS clubs face when going on the road, the outcome this weekend is certainly clouded.
Following the fixture with the Fire, Real Salt Lake has a four-day break before they travel to Dallas for a midweek fixture. Dallas recently sacked their manager Luchi Gonzalez.
Without question, Real Salt Lake must feel like they need to pick up three points in one of those two fixtures. Whether it comes against the Fire or Dallas is irrelevant, but Real Salt Lake cannot return home for a date with San Jose on the same amount of points they are currently on; 42.
The home games remaining are where Real Salt Lake must feel the most pressure to secure three points. Starting with the match against San Jose on October 30th before hosting the Portland Timbers on November 3rd.
The Portland Game
Of all of the games remaining, one of them stands out among the rest.
The November 3rd fixture against Portland, which also happens to be the evening that the club will celebrate and recognize the achievements of their former captain Kyle Beckerman, is going to be the fixture to circle on the calendar as Real Salt Lake closes out its 2021 MLS regular season campaign.
Portland currently finds themselves four points clear of Real Salt Lake on 46 points. The last time the two teams met Portland massacred Real Salt Lake at Providence Park 6-1. That result remains the worst result under the Mastroeni leadership through his nine games in charge. It was the game that it all fell apart for Real Salt Lake.
A win against Portland could play a pivotal role in helping Real Salt Lake assure a top four final position in the western conference.