SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake are in the record books. With their recent home victory against the Chicago Fire, RSL have extended their remarkable home unbeaten streak to 23 games.
And counting. They are bound to set at least one more MLS record, barring an unusual end to the season. RSL have only surrendered 16 goals on the season. With only five matches left on the season and having given up just five goals in their last ten matches, it’s likely they will easily break Houston’s 2007 record of 23 goals allowed.
Records may not be the ultimate goal of an MLS season, but RSL head coach Jason Kreis will take them.
“We take a lot of pride in it every time we see our name in a positive sentence in the newspaper,” he said.
Should RSL continue to remain unbeaten at home, they would tie an MLS record originally set by San Jose in 2005 for zero home losses for the season.
In doing so, they would also have a good chance of setting records for the fewest home goals allowed. RSL have only given up six goals at home this season. The MLS record of eight was set by Colorado in 2004.
They also have a shot at the fewest road goals, currently with 10 on the season. The MLS record stands at 12, set by D.C. United in 2007.
This defensive prowess is something new for Real Salt Lake, who won an MLS Championship last season largely as a result of their attacking ability. The trend continued into the 2010 season as the team scored multiple goals in seven of their first 10 matches. In the 15 games since then, they’ve only managed that three times.
Perhaps the most dramatic statistics for RSL come from goal differential. After going 1-3-1 to start the season and breaking even on goal differential in that period, Real went 8-0-2 over their next 10 games and ran their differential to plus-17. Despite cooling off for a 4-1-5 record since their torrid stretch, they have still managed to build on that number and run it to plus-22.
That number ties them with the 2005 Earthquakes and D.C. United in 2007 for highest goal differential. With five games left, and a positive goal differential of nearly one goal per game, they are likely to improve upon this and break the record.
In addition to possibly eclipsing numerous league marks, RSL have already set a few team records on the season for most wins, most points and most shutouts for a season.
But the reigning MLS Cup holders are not content to stop there. They could also break the records for goal differential, home points, home wins, road points and road wins.