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Real Salt Lake Travels To Face LAFC Sunday


HERRIMAN, Utah (Friday, September 29, 2023) – Real Salt Lake (12-11-7, 43 pts., t-4th West) continues its 2023 season Sunday night in Southern California at Los Angeles Football Club (12-9-9, 45 pts., t-2nd West). Sunday’s kickoff at LAFC starts at 8:30p MT on Apple TV+ / MLS Season Pass w/ Kevin Egan and Brian Dunseth (ENG) and Jorge Perez-Navarro and Marcelo Balboa (SPN). For local coverage, tune in at 7:30p MT for KSL Radio pre-game w/ David James & Jay Nolly via / 1280 AM / 97.5 FM and / 1160 AM).

With 43 points accumulated through 30 games of the 2023 MLS campaign, Real Salt Lake enters the final month of the season as part of a 10-team glut from 2nd to 11th place in the Western Conference separated by just eight points in the race for the 2023 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs (top nine teams), with RSL seeking its first home postseason match since 2019. 

RSL Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni’s side arrives at the final four games of the season tied on 43 points with Houston, two points shy of both Seattle and LAFC (45 points) as Conference runners-up behind leader St. Louis. The Utah side is one point ahead of both Portland and Vancouver (42 points), two ahead of San Jose (41 points) and four or more points ahead of Dallas (39 points), Kansas City (38 points) and Minnesota (37 points). 

LAFC HISTORY: RSL dropped an 0-4 Leagues Cup decision at LAFC back on August 8, a game marred by a 9th-minute non-contact injury to metronomic midfielder Pablo Ruiz. LAFC won in Utah back in early May by a 3-0 scoreline, with this year’s results dropping RSL’s all-time, all competitions record to two wins against 12 losses in the six-year series. The highlight of the series for RSL is the 2018 postseason win in LA – secured by RSL Captain Damir Kreilach’s “Karate Kick” goal – with RSL also winning a reg. season match in 2020. 

LAST TIME OUT: RSL rebounded from back-to-back losses to capture the full three points at home with a 2-1 victory over Vancouver, as second-half goals from Brayan Vera and Justen Glad reversed an 0-1 halftime deficit. Vera’s equalizer was his second goal scored during his first season at RSL, both coming as direct free kicks, both at home in September. Glad’s game-winner was his fifth of the season, the Homegrown centerback getting his head on an Andrés Gómez cross. The assist was Gómez sixth of the season, with five of the six proving to be game-winners.

DECISION DAY DRAMA: Real Salt Lake has finished each of the last two seasons in dramatic fashion, booking its place in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Decision Day with scintillating wins in both 2021 (1-0 at Kansas City) and 2022 (3-1 against Portland), advancing to the postseason in 12 of the last 15 campaigns.


RSL announced earlier this week that 26-year old Homegrown DF Justen Glad has signed a contract extension to keep the 10-year veteran in Claret-and-Cobalt through the 2027 season. The longest-tenured player on the current Real Salt Lake squad, Glad first signed with the Utah side on April 7, 2014, at the age of 17, as the Club’s sixth all-time Homegrown Player. Throughout his career, Glad has gone on to set countless Club records, including being the first Homegrown to don the Captain’s armband, as well as the first to reach both the 100-game centenary and 200 games played milestones. Last season, Glad became the first Homegrown to be named Real Salt Lake’s Most Valuable Player, as voted by his locker-room peers.

Currently, Glad is the third-most capped active Homegrown Player still with their original club, having appeared in a total of 212 MLS reg. season matches for Real Salt Lake, trailing only Jonathan Osorio (276, Toronto FC) and Russell Teibert (253, Vancouver Whitecaps FC). Additionally, Glad’s 212 MLS reg. season appearances ranks sixth all-time behind Club legends Nick Rimando (369), Kyle Beckerman (350), Chris Wingert (247), Tony Beltran (245) and Javier Morales (240). 


RSL arrives at LAFC – just days following the SoCal side’s penalty-kick loss in the Campeones Cup to Mexican power Tigres – with only two wins in its last eight games and three in its last 10 across all competitions. Only the Sept. 2 Rocky Mountain Cup win over Colorado – by a 2-0 scoreline at home – joining Saturday’s Vancouver win in stemming the tide. The home loss to Dallas on August 20 was RSL’s first this year when scoring the game’s initial goal, with the Claret-and-Cobalt now boasting 11 wins and one draw in 13 games that saw RSL take a 1-0 lead.


Three days following the stunning home loss to Dallas, RSL was able to reverse the curse against Vancouver, conceding an early set-piece goal before storming back with two second-half goals. Saturday marked the seventh time this season RSL has come back after conceding first to secure points, with 4 wins (Vancouver twice, Charlotte and León) and 3 draws (at KC/MIN and at home v Minnesota). In both Whitecaps matches this season, including a 2-1 road opener at BC Place in February, RSL DF Justen Glad scored, providing the game-winner Saturday after tallying the equalizer back on Matchday One, with 2 of his 5 goals this season against the ‘Caps.