REAL SALT LAKE

Real Salt Lake Welcomes Bob Bradley, Toronto FC To Rio Tinto Stadium

Apr 8, 2022, 3:18 PM | Updated: Oct 4, 2022, 1:46 pm
aaron-herrera-header-real-salt-lake...
Real Salt Lake defender Aaron Herrera (22) heads the ball during the Real Salt Lake versus Toronto FC soccer match at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Saturday, May 18, 2019. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake returns home to face Toronto FC this weekend after consecutive road fixtures.

The fixture is poised to be a tightly contested battle between two clubs with intentions of contending for the MLS Cup in 2022.

Toronto is currently sitting in the 7th position in the Eastern Conference and recently drew with Colorado 1-1. Real Salt Lake finds itself in the 2nd position in the Western Conference after also recently drawing with Colorado 1-1.

In the offseason, former LAFC manager Bob Bradley signed a new contract with Toronto. The Eastern Conference power has scored a total of six goals through five matches played as Jesús Jiménez leads all goalscorers for Toronto with three. Interestingly, only three Toronto players have found the back of the net this season, with Jonothan Osorio and Alejandro Pozuelo joining Jiménez in the goalscoring department.

“They’re a good team. They obviously have a great coach who understands the league and how they want to play, they got a good result on the weekend and I think that they’re a team, like every other team in this league, that on their day can be very dangerous. So for us it is all about thinking about how we can improve as a group and all the while being cognizant of a group coming in feeling good about the way that they are playing,” Mastroeni told reporters midweek.

Real Salt Lake has scored a total of seven goals through six matches played with a total of five players finding the back of the net. All seven of Real Salt Lake’s goals in 2022 have occurred inside the penalty box. There is yet to be a goal scored from outside of the box in 2022 for Real Salt Lake.

It has been well-publicized the injury struggles of late for Real Salt Lake. Manager Pablo Mastroeni has battled his way through finding enough healthy bodies to field an 18-man gameday roster. Last weekend against Colorado, the club was forced to apply and be granted a hardship waiver, bringing two players up from the Monarchs to round out the 18-player gameday roster.

Fortunately, the injury report is progressing in Real Salt Lake’s favor. It seems as though that Rubio Rubin is fit and ready to play after recovering from post-season groin surgery. Bobby Wood has battled illness and muscle tightness but is questionable to return this weekend following a promising week on the training pitch. Aaron Herrera is also a possible inclusion this week after also enduring muscle tightness and a slight strain in his calf, but he has also performed well on the training park and is hopeful to see minutes this weekend against Toronto.

Goalkeeper David Ochoa and defenders Erik Holt and Justen Glad will be unavailable to play this weekend as the trio remains unavailable due to injury. Ochoa is progressing nicely and is slowly being incorporated back into full team training but is limited and will be sidelined for at least another week. Glad is dealing with a hamstring strain and will be unavailable for the foreseeable future while Holt is expected to be sidelined for multiple months with plantar fasciitis.

The match against Toronto is the second Eastern Conference opponent that Real Salt Lake will play in 2022. The first came on the road against New England when Tate Schmitt’s 94th-minute goal stole three points in dramatic fashion.

Open Cup Draw

Earlier today, Real Salt Lake was drawn to play USL League 1 club Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC. The date and time for the fixture are yet to be announced but the club is expecting to play Northern Colorado on April 20 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Match Info

Real Salt Lake and Toronto will kickoff from Rio Tinto Stadium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, and will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports and KSL 5 TV apps. It will also be available via KSL Sports dot com.

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Real Salt Lake Welcomes Bob Bradley, Toronto FC To Rio Tinto Stadium