MATCH 29: REAL SALT LAKE vs MINNESOTA UNITED FC (SEPTEMBER 15, 2018)
Starting XI: Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon, Nick Besler, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera; Sunny, Kyle Beckerman; Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata; Damir Kreilach.
Bench: Andrew Putna, Danilo Acosta, Shawn Barry, Pablo Ruiz, Luke Mulholland, Sebastian Saucedo, Corey Baird.
- Returning the same starting lineup for the third consecutive match.
- RSL has the most players in the league with five or more goals with six players – Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata, Damir Kreilach, Corey Baird, Jefferson Savarino and Luis Silva.
- RSL is the first team in MLS history to score six goals in back-to-back matches after a 6-0 win over Colorado and a 6-2 win over the LA Galaxy.
- Damir Kreilach (10 G, 6 A) and Albert Rusnák (10 G, 7 A) – First time RSL has had two double-digit scorers since 2011 (Alvaro Saborio and Fabian Espindola)
- Injury list: Jordan Allen (knee), Tony Beltran (knee), David Horst (Achilles), Alex Horwath (Achilles), Luis Silva (groin), Marcelo Silva (foot), Connor Sparrow (knee).
- Since July 4
- Real Salt Lake is 6-2-3, 27 GF, 14 GA, 3 ShO
- Jefferson Savarino – 4 G, 8 A, 10 GP
- Damir Kreilach – 7 G, 2 A, 10 GP
- Joao Plata – 5 G, 5 A, 9 GP
- Albert Rusnák – 6 G, 3 A, 11 GP
- Real Salt Lake is nine points ahead of where the club was through 28 games last season.
- GK Nick Rimando (USA/22 caps/39 years old/27 games, 27 starts (479, 479)/12-10-5 (208-160-111), 1.67 GAA/D.C. United) – Of Rimando’s 208 career wins, just one has come against Minnesota United, at Rio Tinto Stadium last season.
- RB Brooks Lennon (USA/0 caps/20 years old/27 games, 26 starts (52, 41)/0 goals, 5 assists (3, 9)/Liverpool (England)/HGP) – RSL is 13-8-4 in his 25 previous starts at right back with seven shutouts. Second on RSL with 40 tackles and third with 39 interceptions.
- RCB Nick Besler (25 years old/18 games, 11 starts (18, 11)/0 goals, 0 assists (0, 0)/Real Monarchs) – Has ten starts this season as a center back, including each of the last five matches with RSL going 3-1-1 with a 1.20 goals against average. Made one additional start in the midfield in a 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo on May 30. RSL is 6-3-2 in his 11 regular season starts.
- LCB Justen Glad (USA/0 caps/21 years old/28 games, 28 starts (81, 79)/0 goals, 0 assists (2, 1)/RSL Academy/HGP) – Only RSL player to start in all 28 matches this season. Leads MLS with 82 interceptions. Also ranks third in MLS with 24 blocks. Ranks fourth on the team with 39 tackles.
- LB Aaron Herrera (21 years old/10 games, 8 starts (10, 8)/0 goals, 0 assists (0, 0)/University of New Mexico) – Making his ninth consecutive start after making his first on July 21 in a 2-2 draw with the Colorado Rapids. RSL is 4-1-3 in his previous eight starts with a 1.13 goals against average. Made his MLS debut on the road against Seattle Sounders FC in May. Waited until July 7 in a 2-0 win over FC Dallas for his second appearance.
- CM Sunny (Nigeria/1 cap/29 years old/18 games, 12 starts (54, 45)/0 goals, 0 assists (1, 2)/Alanyaspor (Turkey)) – RSL is 7-4-1 in his 12 starts and 11-4-3 in his 18 appearances.
- CM Kyle Beckerman (USA/58 caps/36 years old/26 games, 24 starts (458, 427)/1 goal, 1 assist (41, 50)/Colorado Rapids) – Leads RSL and ranks fourth in MLS with 70 tackles, including 40 in his last 11 starts. Ranks second on RSL with 42 interceptions. With his 50th career assist, he became the 22nd player in MLS history to amass at least 40 goals and 50 assists, joining five former RSL players – Javier Morales, Jason Kreis, Jeff Cunningham, Chris Klein and Clint Mathis on that list.
- RW Jefferson Savarino (Venezuela/3 caps/21 years old/27 games, 27 starts (49, 46)/6 goals, 10 assists (12, 15)/Zulia (Venezuela)/DP) – Has three goals and four assists in the last three matches and four goals and eight assists in ten matches since July 4. Ranks fourth in MLS and first on RSL with 72 dribbles completed. Also RSL’s most-fouled player, winning 63 fouls this season (ranking sixth in MLS). Ranks third on RSL with 44 chances created.
- CAM Albert Rusnák (Slovakia/14 caps, 2 goals/24 years old/26 games, 25 starts (56, 54)/10 goals, 6 assists (16, 20)/FC Groningen (Holland)/DP) – Has five goals in the last three matches, a three-game scoring streak and six goals and three assists in 11 matches since July 4. Leads RSL and ranks fifth in MLS with 72 chances created. Also ranks fourth with 50 chances created from open play. Scored his second international goal in a friendly against Denmark.
- LW Joao Plata (Ecuador/4 caps, 2 goals/26 years old/20 games, 15 starts (189, 158)/8 goals, 7 assists (48, 47)/Toronto FC/TAM) – Has five goals and five assists in nine matches since July 4. Scored two goals off the bench against Minnesota on July 14. Ranks second on RSL with 48 chances created.
- FW Damir Kreilach (29 years old/27 games, 25 starts (27, 25)/10 goals, 7 assists (10, 7)/Union Berlin (Germany)/TAM) – Has seven goals in his last six starts and seven goals and two assists in 10 matches since July 4. Earned Alcatel MLS Player of the Week honors after netting RSL’s first hat trick since May 11, 2014 (Javier Morales). Ranks second on the team in fouls won with 41 and second in tackles with 40.
- GK Andrew Putna (23 years old/2 games, 1 start (2, 1)/1-0-0 (1-0-0), 0.67 GAA/Real Monarchs) – Signed with RSL in July. Made his first MLS start on Saturday, making two saves and earning a 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo. Made his MLS debut last Wednesday, coming on at halftime in place of the injured Nick Rimando. Made four saves while allowing no goals in the final 45 minutes against LAFC. Has allowed three goals in two matches with Real Monarchs SLC this season, giving him six appearances in two seasons with the USL club. Earned two clean sheets with the Monarchs last season.
- DF Danilo Acosta (USA/0 caps/20 years old/12 games, 10 starts (29, 26)/0 goals, 2 assists (0, 4)/Real Salt Lake Academy/HGP) – Came off the bench for his first appearance since July 14 as a second-half substitute last week in a 6-0 win over the Colorado Rapids. Fifth on the club with 27 tackles.
- DF Shawn Barry (28 years old/3 games, 3 starts (3, 3)/0 goals, 0 assists (0, 0)/Korona Kielce (Poland)) – Called in to the Puerto Rican National Team for a match next week against Saint Kitts and Nevis. It is his first international call up. Came to RSL after playing his career in Austria, Germany and Poland.
- MF Pablo Ruiz (Argentina/Chile/0 caps/19 years old/10 games, 5 starts (10, 5)/0 goals, 0 assists (0, 0)/San Luis (Chile)) – Played in consecutive matches against LAFC and the Houston Dynamo last month before suffering a hamstring injury against Houston, requiring him to miss the next two matches.
- MF Luke Mulholland (30 years old/1 game, 0 starts (121, 96)/0 goals, 0 assists (16, 15)/Tampa Bay Rowdies) – Returning to the 18 for the first time since coming off the bench and playing one minute in a 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on March 17. Had back surgery on May 21. Averaged 30 appearances and 2,073 minutes over his previous four MLS seasons. Scored in one of his two appearances against Minnesota last season. Played in the NASL for the NSC Minnesota Stars in 2011, where he won the NASL title and was named Finals MVP.
- FW Sebastian Saucedo (21 years old/23 games, 9 starts (52, 15)/2 goals, 4 assists (2, 6)/Real Salt Lake Academy) – Appeared off the bench in seven of the last eight matches, also starting in the other match. Assisted on the game-tying goal and earned the penalty that proved to be the game-winning goal last month against the Houston Dynamo. Started in five straight matches for RSL before moving to the bench against Minnesota in July.
- FW Corey Baird (22 years old/26 games, 18 starts (26, 18)/6 goals, 4 assists (6, 4)/Stanford/HGP) – Leads all MLS rookies in scoring after scoring his sixth goal in a 6-0 win over the Colorado Rapids last month.