HERRIMAN, Utah (Friday, May 13, 2022) – Real Salt Lake (4-3-4, 16 pts, 5th West) welcomes red-hot Western Conference foe Austin FC (6-2-2, 20 pts, 2nd West) back to Sandy on Saturday evening, with gates opening at 6:00 p.m. MT and team warmups on the field kicking off just before 7:00p MT. A year ago, the teams each won at home in Austin’s inaugural season, RSL emerging 1-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium before dropping a 1-2 decision at Verde’s home.
Saturday’s match will be broadcast locally via KMYU (12 over the air, 22 satellite and 643 HD on cable), with streaming on the KSL Sports App, as well as ESPN700 AM radio. Spanish-speaking fans can tune in on KBMG Latino 106.3 FM, La Gran D 102.3 FM and KTUB 1600 AM for the local radio broadcast.
RSL Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni’s side owns an unbeaten 3-0-1 (W-L-T) mark at home this season, posting 1-0 wins over visiting Seattle and LA Galaxy, with a 2-1 win over Nashville and a 2-2 draw against Toronto. All four of those contests – including the April 30 victory over the Galaxy – have witnessed Rio Tinto Stadium crowds of 20,000-plus, RSL opening a season with four consecutive sellouts for the first time ever. Fans are encouraged to arrive early Saturday, as this week’s game is once again expected to be a capacity crowd.
Real Salt Lake v. Austin FC
Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT
Saturday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. MT
Game Notes for Satuday’s RSL v Austin FC Match Available Online
The Adobe PDF version of the 2022 MLS Game Guide in advance of Saturday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and Austin FC can be found here. Media members looking to receive the document as an attachment or have further questions are asked to please contact Meg Van Dyk in RSL Communications via email at email@example.com
2022 Records: Real Salt Lake (4-3-4, 16 pts, 5th West); Austin FC (6-2-2, 20 pts, 2nd West)
OTHER 2022 RSL NOTES:
RUIZ TO SERVE ONE-GAME SUSPENSION
RSL will be without playmaker Pablo Ruiz on Saturday against Austin due to caution accumulation, as the Argentine/Chilean midfielder was booked last weekend with his fifth yellow card of the season. In the same game, MF Scott Caldwell – also on the precipice of seeing yellow No. 5 – instead made a fifth straight appearance without a booking, earning the MLS “Good Behavior Initiative” and seeing his season total of yellow cards reduced to three.
HOME DEBUT FOR ANDERSON?
One of RSL’s three acquisitions during the recently closed transfer window could make his 2022 RSL HOME debut Saturday, as FW Anderson Julio – who saw 15 minutes of action in last week’s 0-2 loss at Nashville after just one travel day training session with the team – completes his first week back on the Wasatch Front. Julio scored 8 goals in 30 appearances for RSL a year ago, and also added a playoff goal at Kansas City while on loan from Atletico San Luis (Liga MX) … San Luis did not register or play the Ecuadoran attacker in the most recent Clausura, eventually selling the rights to the 25-year old to Real Salt Lake in late April. With his appearance last Sunday in Tennessee, Julio was the 25th player to see MLS minutes in the first 11 games for Mastroeni and staff this season.
The other two deadline moves – DF Chris Kablan, on loan from Blitzer-owned Waasland-Beveren; and FW Jefferson Savarino, the Venezuelan international who returns to RSL as a Designated Player from Atletico Mineiro in Brazil – have not yet appeared for the Claret-and-Cobalt. Kablan has participated nearly two weeks of training sessions with the Club, while Savarino’s work visa process is expected to take a couple weeks. Could Savarino be ready for the May 22 trip to Montreal? Possibly, that’s the goal for the spectacular playmaker who scored 22 goals and added 21 assists in 83 games across MLS reg. season and playoff action from 2017-19.
ROAD PROSPERITY ENDS IN NASHVILLE
Prior to last week’s 0-2 loss at Nashville, RSL had earned points in eight of its previous 11 road matches (4-3-4, 16 pts), dating back to Oct. 27 last year and matching the Club’s record 2010 stretch (3-1-7, 16 pts) as the MOST successful away spell in Club history. RSL was unable to set a new travel standard, however, as Nashville suffocated the game, went up 1-0 in the 65th minute, and iced the affair in the final 10 minutes by punishing an RSL turnover.
However, a few historical indicators were stacked up against Real Salt Lake last week. In the Club’s initial visits to new stadiums since 2007, RSL’s record is now just 2-10-3, with wins at Cincinnati last year and at NYCFC in 2016. RSL drew at Orlando in 2016, at Philadelphia in 2010 and at Toronto in 2007 in Claret-Cobalt debuts at those cities. Overall, in first-ever visits to an opponent, RSL is now 2-20-4, which includes the 2005 expansion season when the Claret-and-Cobalt posted an 0-10-1 mark against the other 11 opponents in debut games. RSL drew at the Meadowlands against the MetroStars in its first-ever match, then lost 10 straight.
When playing in front of crowds of 30,000+, RSL owns an all-time MLS mark of 3-13-5, with all but four games overall being played at Seattle. RSL lost its lone MLS home game that exceeded the 30k threshold, dropping 0-2 to visiting Dallas at Rice-Eccles Stadium in June, 2005, as part of the historic USA-Costa Rica doubleheader that Summer.
All three road wins before crowds of 30k or more did come at Seattle, with an 0-2-1 road mark at Chicago, Atlanta and Orlando in recent years. In postseason matches, all at Seattle, RSL is 0-2-3, with one of the draws the technical representation of RSL’s MLS Cup 2009 title game over LA Galaxy.
O CAPTAIN OUR CAPTAIN, WHEN WILL THEE RETURN?
Fifth-year MF Damir Kreilach was named RSL’s Captain during the preseason following the free agency departure of Albert Rusnák. Kreilach becomes the Club’s sixth mainstay captain in the Club’s history, following the footsteps of M/F Jason Kreis (2005-07), MF Carey Talley (2007), MF Kyle Beckerman (2008-20) and Rusnák (2021). Kreilach – referenced by Mastroeni as the team’s “X FACTOR” – continues the 2022 season as the team’s leading active goal scorer (fourth all-time), with 43 goals to go along with 23 assists in reg. season play.
Due to calf and back injuries this year, and a shortened offseason and a Covid-laden preseason, Kreilach has only started three of the 11 games this year, coming off the bench for short stints in three others. Veteran DF Marcelo Silva has worn the band in seven of the eight games missed by Kreilach, with GK Zac MacMath also serving as the team’s leader in the one game – March 19 v Nashville – missed by Silva (toe).