Preview: Real Salt Lake at D.C. United

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Friday, July 31, 2015) – Real Salt Lake kicks off a four-city, three-competition road trip with a regular-season Major League Soccer match Saturday at RFK Stadium against D.C. United, RSL’s first visit to the nation’s capitol since March, 2013. Pre-game coverage airs live on ESPN700 AM at 4:00 p.m. MT, with regional TV coverage via KMYU and American Sports Network kicking off at 4:30 p.m. MT in Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona, with David James and Brian Dunseth on the call.

RSL has never won on the road against D.C. United, one of three opponents – including Philadelphia and Montreal – unbeaten at home against the Claret-and-Cobalt. RSL’s all-time 0-6-3 mark at RFK Stadium includes an Open Cup play-in loss back in 2010, as well an 0-1 loss in the last visit to D.C. two seasons ago. In the last meeting between the club’s last August at Rio Tinto Stadium, RSL utilized a brace from DF Chris Schuler and a Joao Plata goal in the first 24 minutes to blitz Ben Olsen’s team 3-0 in support of RSL GK Nick Rimando’s record-breaking 113th MLS regular-season clean sheet.

On Sunday, RSL will fly to Guatemala City, Guatemala for Tuesday’s debut in the 2015/16 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League against CSD Municipal, the first of four Group G games involving RSL, Municipal and El Salvador’s Santa Tecla FC. Following the midweek match at Municipal, RSL faces Canadian power Vancouver Whitecaps FC next Saturday at BC Place and then continues on to the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal at Sporting Park in Kansas City on Wednesday, August 12, to conclude the club’s longest-ever road stretch in 400+ games over 11 seasons.

How to Follow Real Salt Lake at D.C. United

•   Coverage Begins: 4:30 p.m. MT

•   TV: KMYU – David James & Brian Dunseth (2.2 air, 12 satellite, 22/643 Comcast HD)

•   English Radio: ESPN700 AM (4:00 p.m. MT) – Bill Riley & Trey Fitz-Gerald

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

•   Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter feed provides updates

Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL at D.C. Matchup 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 D.C. United. 

Click here to download the PDF version of the MLS Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL @ D.C. matchup

Back on July 16, RSL traded its all-time leading scorer, Alvaro Saborio, to D.C. United in exchange for M/F Luis Silva. Saborio scored in his DCU debut last Saturday against Philadelphia, while Silva – United’s leading scorer in each of the previous two seasons, including a 2014 campaign with 11 goals – has yet to don the Claret-and-Cobalt; both are expected to be available Saturday. United also features former RSL man Fabian Espindola as one of the club’s leading offensive threats.

Also returning to availability Saturday for RSL boss Jeff Cassar are Captain Kyle Beckerman and GK Nick Rimando, each of whom spent July with the United States Men’s National Team as part of Jurgen Klinsmann’s Gold Cup squad. The duo last featured for RSL back on June 27 in a 2-2 home draw with Columbus, as RSL went 4-1-1 across all competitions without the club icons in July.

Last week’s 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City vaulted RSL into 7th place in the West, just three points out of playoff contention – behind both Portland and Seattle, each of whom visit Utah in mid-August – but just nine points away from the top spot. At its Rio Tinto Stadium home this season, RSL is now 8-1-6 across all competitions, including a trio of home wins in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Since the beginning of 2008, RSL boasts a 94-19-39 mark in its last 152 home games (all comps) in that span, during which it has outscored opponents by 164 goals (275/111), with a 75-14-36 regular-season mark (223/90), 6-1-1 CCL record (17/5), 5-2-2 in playoffs (11/4) and an 8-2-0 ledger in the Open Cup (21/10).

RSL MF Javier Morales moved into the 2015 club scoring lead with his goal last week, the fifth of the season, scoring in back-to-back games for the fifth time in his 201-game MLS career. FW Joao Plata converted a 73rd-minute penalty kick for his second goal in as many games, while FW Sebastian Jaime’s assist on the Morales goal was the first of his career. GK Jeff Attinella earned this week’s MLS Save of the Week honors en route to his sixth career win. 

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