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Real Salt Lake Welcomes Vancouver Saturday 


SANDY, Utah (Friday, September 22, 2023) – Real Salt Lake (11-11-7, 40 pts., 6th West) continues its 2023 season Saturday night against Vancouver Whitecaps FC (11-9-8, 41 pts., 5th West). Kickoff for each game is at 7:30p MT (Apple TV+ / MLS Season Pass / KSL Radio).

With 40 points accumulated through 29 games of the 2023 MLS campaign, Real Salt Lake is part of a 10-team glut from 2nd to 10th place in the Western Conference separated by just eight points in the race for the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs (top nine teams), with RSL seeking its first home postseason match since 2019. 

RSL Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni’s side enters the final five games of the season tied on 40 points with San Jose, three points shy of fourth-place Houston (43 points). The Utah side is three points ahead of Minnesota (37 pts), two points up on Dallas (38 pts) and one point ahead of Portland (39 points). 

VANCOUVER HISTORY: RSL has earned points in 13 of 15 all-time Whitecaps visits to Utah, winning 8 and drawing 5 games against just 2 all-time losses to the visitors from British Columbia. One of those Vancouver draws came last year at America First Field, the 1-1 stalemate secured with an 87th-minute header, while Vancouver has won on the Wasatch in 2015 and 2020. The teams met previously this year at BC Place on MLS Opening Weekend, with RSL riding goals from Justen Glad and Damir Kreilach to overcome an 0-1 deficit and win 2-1 on the Vancouver turf.

LAST TIME OUT: RSL fell Wednesday at home, 1-3, unable to extend a 1-0 halftime lead over FC Dallas, which scored three unanswered in the second half to further tighten the West postseason race. RSL took the lead just before halftime when FW Chicho Arango scored for a fourth consecutive match, tallying his fifth MLS goal in the last two months with RSL. Arango’s goal was his seventh overall for the Claret-and-Cobalt, and the 98th of his illustrious professional career.

Despite Arango’s efforts, RSL has dropped six of its last seven and seven of its last nine games across all competitions, with only the Sept. 2 Rocky Mountain Cup win over Colorado – by a 2-0 scoreline at home – stemming the tide. Wednesday’s loss was RSL’s first this year when scoring first, the Claret-and-Cobalt now boasting 11 wins and one draw in 13 games that saw RSL take a 1-0 lead. 

Saturday’s kickoff against Vancouver starts at 7:30p MT on Apple TV+ / MLS Season Pass w/ Adrian Healey and Cobi Jones (ENG) and Juan Arango and Carlos Suarez (SPN). For local coverage, tune in at 6:30p MT for KSL Radio pre-game w/ David James & Jay Nolly via / 1280 AM / 97.5 FM and / 1160 AM).


The recent slide for RSL belies a normally resilient and steely approach to adversity under HC Pablo Mastroeni over the last two years … RSL’s first victory in the recent 11-game overall unbeaten run was an unexpected 2-1 win at Austin on June 3, RSL “bouncing back” following a disappointing 2-3 home loss to LA Galaxy a few days earlier, a game in which RSL conceded first – a late first-half penalty call – reclaimed a 2-1 lead early in the second 45 before allowing two goals three minutes apart midway through the second half … That return to the site of last year’s playoff demise represented yet another opportunity for RSL to improve upon its record in “bounceback” games under Mastroeni, as the Claret-and-Cobalt have now earned a result in 23 of 32 matches following a loss in the “Pablo era” – a run which includes the bounceback win over León following the Monterrey home loss during the late July Leagues Cup slate.

Since August 2021, RSL has posted a 16W-9L-7T mark in these matches, suffering back-to-back losses nine times in the former USMNT star’s now 92 games at the RSL helm. Can RSL recapture that resilience at home Saturday against Vancouver following Wednesday’s Dallas home loss? 


While the August 23 Open Cup Semifinal loss at Houston arrived on a 15-day rest, it did kick off a run of four games in 10 days. RSL returning home to host the Dynamo August 26 for another loss, with a midweek road trip on August 30 at Portland also a losing effort. The Labor Day Weekend win over Colorado broke the rut, finally.

On short rest in June and July, RSL had 4 wins, 3 draws and the Monterrey loss prior to the August 8 setback at LAFC, with Mastroeni’s rotations now obviously affected by the Ruiz injury. Throughout the 120 days leading up to that LAFC elimination loss, RSL had played 18 of the 27 games on three or four days rest while navigating MLS, Open Cup and Leagues Cup action; during this period, RSL had seen 28 different players appear, RSL earning 8 wins and 6 draws against what was just 3 losses in these short rest / heavy rotation contests. However, RSL had lost two of three matches played on short rest from August 26 – Sept. 2. This week, home contests against Dallas and Vancouver test the rotation and grit from the full roster on short rest, following the road loss at San Jose.

The Last Home Regular Season Game of the Season!

The Last Home Regular Season Game of the Season!

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