Real Salt Lake Must Win Against Portland On Decision Day
SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake will host the Portland Timbers this upcoming Sunday in a match that has massive implications for both sides.
For Real Salt Lake, three points against Portland would solidify a playoff position. While a loss for Portland and the Timbers risk missing out on the postseason. Currently, Real Salt Lake is one point shy of a playoff position, while Portland sits two points clear of Real Salt Lake in the sixth position in the West.
A Real Salt Lake draw or loss against Portland will conclude the 2022 season for RSL.
Remarkable, Real Salt Lake is only three points shy of fourth-placed L.A. Galaxy. As is so often the case for Real Salt Lake, the season will be determined on MLS Decision Day.
Last year on Decision Day, Real Salt Lake stole three points on the road against Sporting Kansas City after Damir Kreilach found the back of the net in the 95th minute to win 1-0, and subsequently qualified for the playoffs while doing so.
This year, Real Salt Lake will be looking to repeat similar events.
— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) October 7, 2022
However, this year RSL will be without its leader Damir Kreilach who is still recovering from a back injury that has limited his season to just five games. Furthermore, striker Bobby Wood will also be unavailable for the hosts, as he remains unavailable following mid-season abductor surgery.
The injury news comes as no surprise to RSL fans given the minimal impact both Kreilach and Wood have had on this season. Rather, the club will look to lean on the likes of Jefferson Savarino, Sergio Córdova, Anderson Julio, and the remaining attacking threats to ensure that Real Salt Lake scores more goals than Portland throughout the 90 minutes.
Portland enters the fixture having not won a game in their previous two fixtures. Most recently, the Timbers fell 2-1 to LAFC at Providence Park following a 95th-minute game-winner from LAFC winger Denis Bouanga.
Portland is filled with quality players such as the Chará brothers, Dairon Asprilla, Sebastián Blanco, and Jarosław Niezgoda.
Both RSL and Portland have played one another once already this season. On April 23, RSL and Portland ended in a scoreless draw at Providence Park. Although a year ago it was the Timbers who swept RSL three games to nil throughout the regular season and in the Western Conference Final.
The last Real Salt Lake win against the Timbers occurred in 2020 back when Kyle Beckerman was still a member of the RSL dressing room.
Timbers Vs. RSL Match Info
Real Salt Lake will play its final game of the 2022 regular season at home on Sunday, October 9 when they host Portland Timbers.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will be available to watch via ESPN 2.
Real Salt Lake Scoreboard
Real Salt Lake Team Leaders
Real Salt Lake Standings