Real Salt Lake Travel To Vancouver For Clash With Whitecaps

Jun 3, 2022, 12:01 PM
Real Salt Lake forward Justin Meram, right, passes the ball between Vancouver Whitecaps defender Ra...
Real Salt Lake forward Justin Meram, right, passes the ball between Vancouver Whitecaps defender Ranko Veselinovic, left and midfielder Janio Bikeli, center, during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. Steve Dykes, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake will look to add to its three-game unbeaten run this Saturday when they take the pitch against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place this upcoming Saturday.

Injury Update

Manager Pablo Mastroeni will welcome back Erik Holt and Anderson Julio who has been sidelined with injury as of late, however, unfortunately, the club will be without its captain for the foreseeable future as it was announced that Damir Kreilach underwent successful back surgery yesterday in Los Angeles where he will stay for up to a week before returning to Utah to further his rehabilitation alongside the Real Salt Lake medical team. The best-case scenario for Kreilach is to return in three months, Mastroeni said.

The Kreilach injury news came hours after the club signed Diego Luna in a record USL Championship to MLS deal. Luna was purchased for 250K from El Paso Locomotive and reportedly chose Real Salt Lake as his new destination despite having interest from a handful of European clubs. Luna, who plays as a number 10, will look to assist Mastroeni during the absence of Kreilach. Luna will compete alongside the likes of Jefferson Savarino, Justin Meram, and Jasper Löffelsend among others for the starting attacking midfielder role.

Vancouver, on the other hand, has injury concerns of their own as Thomas Hasal, Tristan Blackmon, Russel Teibert, Ryan Gauld, and Brian White are all listed as out or questionable ahead of the fixture.

Trending Up

Nevertheless, much like Real Salt Lake, the Whitecaps are trending in the right direction having picked up results in four of their previous five MLS matches. Most recently, Vancouver is coming off a 1-0 victory on the road against Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park. It was Vancouver’s first road victory of the season. At home, Vancouver is a different team having secured three wins, two draws, and just the lone loss to Portland on April 9.

With a win Real Salt Lake would claw one point shy of the conference and supporters shield leaders LAFC who currently sits atop the conference on 29 points. Vancouver currently finds itself sitting in the 12th position in the west just one point shy of bottom dwellers Sporting Kansas City.

New Managers

Both Vancouver and Real Salt Lake hired their interim managers to full-time positions during the offseason. Pablo Mastroeni of Real Salt Lake and Vanni Sartini are in the midst of their first season in charge of their respective clubs. Sartini, unlike Mastroeni, is in charge of an MLS club for the first time in his coaching career. Previously, Sartini managed A.S. Mezzana, a small club in Italy, before joining Vancouver as the manager of its U-23 side.

Real Salt Lake and Vancouver will act as the lone MLS fixture this weekend. Every other club will enjoy the start to their bye week as the international window opens. Real Salt Lake will next play on June 18 when they host San Jose.

Match Info

Real Salt Lake will travel to Vancouver next Saturday, June 4, with kickoff scheduled for 5 p.m.

As always, the fixture will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports and KSL 5 TV app or on KSL Sports dot com.


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