SANDY, Utah (Friday, August 14, 2015) - Real Salt Lake returns home for the first time in three weeks for the first of back-to-back matches against Cascadia clubs it chases in pursuit of a Western Conference playoff berth, hosting the Portland Timbers Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium in an 8:00 p.m. MT kickoff. Pregame airs live on ESPN700 AM at 7:00 p.m. MT, with regional TV coverage via KMYU and American Sports Network kicking off at 7:30 p.m. MT in Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona, with David James and Brian Dunseth on the call.
RSL is back on the Wasatch Front after Wednesday's elimination from the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, losing 1-3 at Sporting Kansas City in the Semifinal round. RSL struck early through FW Olmes Garcia, but KC equalized on a set piece for a 1-1 halftime score. GK Nick Rimando, DF Tony Beltran and DF Demar Phillips kept the score knotted until the 80th minute, after which a pair of opportunistic Kansas City goals decided the match.
Wednesday's loss was the final match in a four-game, three-competition, four-time zone, three country journey covering 11,000 air miles, as RSL saw league losses at D.C. United (4-6) and at Vancouver (0-4) sandwiched around a 1-0 win at Guatemala City power Municipal to kick off the club's 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League group stage.
At Rio Tinto Stadium 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 (225/91), 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).
How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Portland Timbers
Coverage Begins: 7:30 p.m. MT
TV: KMYU - David James & Brian Dunseth
English Radio: ESPN700 AM (8:00 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 provides updates
Game Guide for Saturday's RSL v. Portland 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 Portland.
Download the PDF version of the MLS Game Guide for Saturday's RSL v. Portland matchup here.
Back on July 1 of this season, RSL defeated Portland, 2-0, in an Open Cup Round of 16 match, as FW Sebastian Jaime and MF Javier Morales each scored against the Timbers, who drew with RSL, 0-0, in Portland to open the 2015 MLS season. The Timbers boast a pair of former Real Salt Lake players in DF Nat Borchers - who wore the Claret-and-Cobalt from 2008-14 - and MF Will Johnson, with the Utah club from 2008-12.
RSL has posted an all-time 9-2-5 mark against the Timbers, including a pair of Open Cup wins in 2013 and 2015 as well as a sweep in the 2013 Western Conference Finals. At Rio Tinto Stadium, RSL is 7-1-1 all-time against Portland, with the Timbers notching their first-ever and only win in Utah last June, a 3-1 PTFC win that saw an early Luke Mulholland goal reversed by a Tony Beltran red card and a penalty kick call against Chris Schuler, while RSL's starting lineup was decimated by World Cup absences.
RSL will be without DF Abdoulie Mansally, who received a late red card in the 0-4 loss last Saturday at Vancouver, the club's record eighth ejection of a season, through just 24 games. RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar was also ejected last week, in the 29th minute, causing him to view Saturday's proceedings from Rio Tinto Stadium's fourth floor.