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Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Columbus Crew SC

SANDY, Utah (Friday, June 27, 2015)  – Real Salt Lake kicks off a three-game, seven-day homestand Saturday, hosting the Columbus Crew at Rio Tinto Stadium, hoping to improve upont the club’s 4-1-4 home mark in all competitions this season. Television coverage for the game – RSL’s 18th out of 34 regular-season matches this year – kicks off at 7:30 p.m. MT on KMYU, with the game also carried on ESPN700 (7:00 p.m. MT pre-game) and La Gran D 102.3 FM / 1600 AM.

Real Salt Lake (5-6-6, 21 points, West 8) returns home following an 0-1 road loss at Red Bull Arena against New York on Wednesday, with red cards on either side of halftime to MF Javier Morales and DF Demar Phillips reducing the club to nine men for just the fourth time in RSL’s 394-game history in MLS regular-season, playoff, Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League play.

While that duo will miss Saturday’s match due to one-game red card suspensions, RSL will welcome back the return of its Captain, Kyle Beckerman, who was forced to miss the New York trip due to yellow-card accumulation with his 47th-minute caution. That card was the all-time MLS-leading 82nd yellow card of his distinguished 368-game MLS career, surpassing former Miami and Colorado teammate Pablo Mastroeni (81 cautions in 30 fewer games).

Saturday will mark the final RSL appearances for Beckerman and fellow U.S. National Team GK Nick Rimando, as both will depart for Jurgen Klinsmann’s Gold Cup camp on Sunday. Also missing for the month of July due to the CONCACAF Gold Cup tourney are Phillips (Jamaica), FW Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) and DF Elias Vasquez (Guatemala).

How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Columbus Crew

•   Coverage Begins: 7:30 p.m. MT

•   TV: KMYU – David James & Brian Dunseth

•   English Radio: ESPN700 AM (7:00 p.m. MT) – Bill Riley & Brian Kamler

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

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


Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL v. Columbus Match Now Available Online

Following is the link to the Adobe PDF version of the MLS Game Guide in advance of Saturday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and the Columbus Crew.

Click here to download the PDF version of the MLS Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL v. Columbus Crew matchup

June/July Slate Dictates Home Cooking for RSL; Open Cup / CCL Paths Determined

Following Sunday’s 2-1 home victory over Sporting Kansas City, RSL improved to 4-1-4 across all competitions at home this season, as Rio Tinto Stadium prepares to host as many as six of the club’s next seven matches after Wednesday’s trip to New York. Should RSL win the Wednesday, July 1 Round of 16 match against Portland Timbers in the club’s next Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup contest, it would host the following Quarterfinal match – date TBD – against the LA Galaxy / San Jose Earthquakes winner.

Three weeks ago, RSL discovered its 2015/16 Champions League Group, as the club will face Santa Tecla FC (El Salvador) and Municipal (Guatemala) with two home games and two away scheduled during six possible matchdates in August/September/October. RSL and the remaining 23 clubs will ascertain dates and times in the coming days.

RSL’s 2-0 victory over NYCFC back on May 23 kicked off a run that sees RSL play as many as 14 games in 60 days from Memorial Day to Pioneer Day (11 MLS reg. season matches plus three possible U.S. Open Cup contests), all while managing injuries, national team duty and disciplinary suspensions.

Schedule Congestion Catalyst for Squad Rotation; RSL “Maestro” Remains Red-Hot

As a result of the schedule congestion described above, RSL boss Jeff Cassar has distributed minutes all over the roster in anticipation of quick turnarounds and key absences due to international duty, suspension, injury and fatigue, as 22 different players have earned starts for the Claret-and-Cobalt in 2015’s first 14 games, while 25 players – all but GK Lalo Fernandez, DF Phanuel Kavita and DF Boyd Okwuonu – have logged MLS minutes in 2015. Kavita and Okwuonu did make their RSL debuts in the June 16th 2-1 victory over Sounders 2 in the Open Cup.

When FW Sebastian Jaime scored his first career goal in last Sunday’s 2-1 home win over Kansas City, he became the 59th player of the 124 that have worn the RSL crest in MLS play to find the back of the net. Fellow FW Olmes Garcia notched the game-winner in the 93rd minute, RSL’s 27th all-time game-winning goal across 394 games in all competitions, and the third-year Colombian’s first goal since last August. That strike also represented RSL’s 450th MLS regular-season goal in 337 games over 11 seasons.

Assisting on both goals last Sunday – after assisting on the equalizer and scoring the game-winner himself in the previous Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Sounders 2 – was RSL MF Javier Morales, the Argentine maestro. In MLS play, Morales now owns 40 goals and a club-leading 70 assists, giving the man who missed all of 2005/06 and most of 2007 and 2011 a foot in nearly 25% of every Claret-and-Cobalt MLS goal all-time. The 35-year old is showing no signs of slowing down, as his game-winning assist last Sunday tied him with Kyle Beckerman for the all-time club lead (17 each).