Preview: Real Salt Lake Hosts Portland

SANDY, Utah (Friday, September 15, 2017) – Real Salt Lake (10-14-5, 35 points, West #8) continues its 2017 MLS Cup “Playoff Push” with a 7:30 p.m. MT Saturday night kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium against West rival Portland Timbers FC.

Unbeaten in eight of its last 10 overall since the beginning of July, RSL defeated Portland 4-1 back on July 19 in the teams’ initial meeting this season. FW Joao Plata scored twice that day at Providence Park, while Captain Kyle Beckerman and MF Albert Rusnák also found the back of the net. Venezuelan FW Jefferson Savarino earned the game-winning PK that Plata converted and later assisted on the Rusnák goal, while outside backs Tony Beltran and Danilo Acosta each provided assists on the night in the eye-opening road win, which came 48 hours after RSL’s 1-2 home loss to Manchester United.

RSL looks to rebound from last weekend’s 2-3 loss at Vancouver, as the club chases Dallas, Houston and San Jose in the tightly-packed Western Conference table in search for one of six available MLS Cup Playoff berths. Last week’s loss dropped the club to 10-11-3 in its new era under Head Coach Mike Petke.

How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Portland Timbers FC – Sat., Sept. 16, 2017

  • Coverage Begins: 7:00 p.m. MT
  • Local TV: KMYU – David James and Brian Dunseth
  • English Radio: 100.7 FM (7:00 p.m. MT) – Spencer Warne & Jay Nolly

                w/ Jeremy Horton & Spencer Warne (pre-/post-game)

  • Spanish Radio: 102.3 La Gran D FM / 1600 AM – Nelson Moran & Fernando Hortal
  • Online: The @RSLmatchday Twitter feed provides updates

Game Notes for Saturday’s RSL v. Portland game Available Online

The link to the Adobe PDF version of the Game Guide in advance of Saturday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers is available HERE.

Prior to the recent FIFA international break, RSL captured back-to-back home wins over San Jose (4-0) and Colorado (4-1) to move up the tightly-packed Western Conference table in search for one of six available MLS Cup Playoff berths. The pair of late August wins improved the club to 10-11-3 in its new era under Head Coach Mike Petke.

Last time out at home, RSL improved to 6-4-4 in Sandy this year by riding a Luis Silva brace and goals from Joao Plata and Brooks Lennon to win 4-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium and capture the fan-created Rocky Mountain Cup bragging rights for the ninth time in 11 seasons. Silva’s pair of goals marked his sixth and seventh strikes since July 17 against Manchester United, while his six MLS reg. season goals rank second on the club behind Plata and Movsisyan, RSL’s 2017 Golden Boot co-leaders with seven goals each.

RSL now boasts an all-time 9-0-4 mark against the Rapids at Rio Tinto Stadium, part of an all-time 12-5-5 home mark in Rocky Mountain Cup play across MLS reg. season and U.S. Open Cup qualifying action. Since RSL moved to its Sandy home for its first full season in 2009, it has outscored the Rapids 25-7 at Rio Tinto Stadium, with six clean sheets against Colorado.

Three days prior to its Rocky Mountain Cup win, RSL saw four goals from four different scorers en route to a 4-0 home win over San Jose. The four-goal shutout victory was RSL’s first in 67 MLS reg. season games at Rio Tinto Stadium, dating back to late August, 2013, against Columbus. The Claret-and-Cobalt’s last home win by a four-goal margin came in September, 2014, in a nationally-televised 5-1 victory over Colorado.

Elsewhere in the RSL pyramid, the scintillating 2017 Real Monarchs / USL season continues Saturday on the road at Phoenix, as Head Coach Mark Briggs’ USL pacesetters – with a 17-4-5 mark and a league-leading 56 points – look to widen their lead atop both the West and the overall USL lead, as the club is four clear of second-place Reno and San Antonio and eight ahead of East leaders Louisville City and Charlotte.

The third-year Monarchs claim the league’s second-best differential, +24 with 51 goals scored and 27 allowed in just 26 games, occupying first place overall in the USL with 6 games remaining to secure the No. 1 overall seed in the USL Cup Playoffs. Briggs’ side sits just five wins, 14 points and 11 goals away from establishing new single-season records for the Division II league.

Opening in part late last month, the Zions Bank Real Academy training campus arrives this Fall in Herriman, Utah, approximately 20 minutes southwest of Rio Tinto Stadium. The $73 million facility, which saw the first of five grass “TORO Fields” sodded in recent weeks – will serve as the daily training home beginning in 2018 for both of the club's professional teams – RSL (MLS) and Real Monarchs (USL) – while centralizing the club's U-18, U-16 and future U-14 development academy youth selections under the guidance of Academy Director Martin Vasquez.

The Herriman facility will provide adjacencies for an on-site charter school which opened this morning, with STEM disciplines (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math) for nearly 200 boys and girls, kicking off a new era for both sports and education in Utah.

In early October in North Logan, Utah, RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen will christen the opening of the first of a half-dozen regional training centers across Utah and Arizona to be built in the next 2-3 years.  Each $5 million RTC houses a classroom, as well as an indoor and outdoor field, dedicated to fulfilling a curriculum consistent with the club's vision and mission for youth soccer training and education, and the continued development of both recreational and competitive pre-Academy (ages 7-12) initiatives across Utah and Arizona.

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