Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Toronto FC

SANDY, Utah  – Real Salt Lake continues its 2015 regular season home slate Sunday, welcoming Toronto FC to Rio Tinto Stadium. While RSL has sold out 19 of its last 21 games, a handful of good seats remain for the club’s first-ever Sunday home regular-season match, with TV coverage kicking off nationally at 5:00 p.m. MT on Fox Sports 1. Sunday’s match will also be broadcast locally on ESPN 700 AM (pre-game at 4:00p MT / post-game at 7:00p MT) and 102.3 La Gran D FM / 1600 AM.

Real Salt Lake (0-0-2, 2 points, t-4 West) enters 2015 seeking to extend its seven-season playoff streak, the longest active run in Major League Soccer. On the heels of five consecutive 15+ -win, 50+ -point seasons, Head Coach Jeff Cassar’s team returns 19 players to the club roster from a year ago, including eight starters – despite an offseason of change that saw long-time veterans depart.

RSL owns a distinct home-field advantage since the beginning of 2008, boasting an 86-18-34 mark in its last 138 home games (all comps) in that span, during which it has outscored opponents by 154 goals (256-102), with a 70-13-31 reg. season mark (212/84), 6-1-1 CCL record (17/5), 5-2-2 playoffs (11/4) and 5-2-0 Open Cup (16/9). The club’s 12-1-7 overall home mark a year ago was no doubt buoyed by the continued growth of season ticket holders, which surpassed 15,000 on Friday.

How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Toronto FC

•   Coverage Begins: 5:00 p.m. MT

•   TV: Fox Sports 1 – John Strong, Alexi Lalas & Julie Stewart-Binks

•   English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame at 4:00 p.m. MT) – Bill Riley & Brian Kamler

•   Spanish Radio: 102.3 La Gran D FM / 1600 AM – Nelson Moran

•   Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide match updates

 

Game Guide for Sunday’s RSL-TFC Match Now Available Online

Following is the link to the Adobe PDF version of the MLS Game Guide in advance of Sunday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC.

Click here to download the PDF version of the MLS Game Guide for Sunday’s RSL-TFC matchup

RSL History v. Toronto FC

Sunday’s match is the lone regular-season meeting between the clubs, with RSL posting an all-time 8-4-3 mark against Toronto, including a 7-1-0 mark on Utah soil (7-0-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium) and a 1-3-3 mark in Ontario. TFC won on a late penalty at Rice-Eccles Stadium in its first-ever visit to Utah back on July 4, 2007, but is winless in seven visits since in MLS reg. season and CONCACAF Champions League competitions, outscored 20-6 by RSL in Sandy.

RSL won 3-0 over Toronto on the same date a year ago, with FW Alvaro Saborio hitting for two goals, sandwiched around a Luis Gil strike, in support of a Nick Rimando shutout.  Saborio (Costa Rica), Gil (U.S. U-23s) and Rimando (USA) are each away this week on international duty, as are RSL DF Elias Vasquez (Guatemala) and Boyd Okwuonu (U.S. U-23s). The quintet will be back for the club’s MLS game next week on ESPN2 at San Jose (3:00 p.m. MT).

 

Unblemished 2014 Campaign v. Eastern Conference

The 3-3 draw against Philadelphia in the club’s last game extended RSL’s unbeaten run to 11 games against the East, as an August 9 win over D.C. United concluded the club’s 2014 series against Eastern Conference teams with a 6-0-4 overall mark, outscoring the East 23-10, including a 4-0-1 home mark with a 12-3 goal differential.

 

Rio Tinto Stadium Return for Findley, Warner, Fraser + others on FS1

Former RSL FW Robbie Findley makes his Rio Tinto Stadium return, as RSL’s 3rd-leading all-time scorer (36 career goals) tallied in TFC’s opening-day 3-1 win at Vancouver. Also repping the TFC red is former RSL MF Collen Warner, lost in the 2012 expansion draft to Montreal prior to his trade to Toronto last year. On the TFC bench is former RSL assistant Robin Fraser (2007-10), while TFC Head Coach Greg Vanney ran what is now the RSL-AZ Academy prior to RSL assuming soccer operations in Casa Grande, leaving in 2011 when Fraser became Chivas USA head coach. Also visiting is former Casa Grande academy player Eriq Zavaleta, Vanney’s nephew, now a defender for TFC.

 

First-ever RSL visit to San Jose’s Avaya Stadium Next Sunday on ESPN2

RSL will be once again featured on national television next Sunday, with the club heading to San Jose to face the Earthquakes in that club’s second-ever game at new Avaya Stadium, with a 3:00 p.m. MT kickoff on ESPN2. 

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