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New York Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake | MLS Match Preview

NYvRSL, 7-27-13

Photo Credit: 
USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK RED BULLS vs REAL SALT LAKE
RED BULL ARENA, Harrison, N.J.
July 27, 2013 (WEEK 22, MLS Game #197)
7 p.m. ET (MSG; KTVA-ABC)

An attractive interconference clash is ahead at Red Bull Arena as the New York Red Bulls play host to MLS overall leader Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening. The Red Bulls return home sitting in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference following their draw last weekend at Toronto FC. Real still have the best record in the league, despite seeing their eight-game undefeated run come to an end in a late 2-1 home loss to Sporting Kansas City last weekend.

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REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. AR1 (bench): Daniel Belleau; AR2 (opposite): James Conlee; 4th: Daniel Fitzgerald
MLS Career: 67 games; FC/gm: 27.4; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 8; pens: 7

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: RSL: Chris Wingert (through August 3)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: RSL: Lovel Palmer
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NY: Tim Cahill - RSL: Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Yordany Alvarez
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: RSL: Tony Beltran (USA); Kyle Beckerman (USA), Nick Rimando (USA)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (15 meetings): Red Bulls 3 wins, 20 goals - Real 5 wins, 21 goals - Ties 7
AT SALT LAKE (7 meetings): Red Bulls 3 wins, 20 goals - Real 5 wins, 21 goals - Ties 7

LAST YEAR (MLS)
3/17: RSL 2, NY 0 (Espindola 39; Gil 58)
*    The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
*    Real Salt Lake have a six-game undefeated streak alive in the series between the teams, including three consecutive wins. The last Red Bulls victory came April 18, 2009, at the old Giants Stadium.
*    RSL has never lost to New York at home in regular season play. Real have won the last four meetings at Rio Tinto Stadium; they have four wins in eight meetings all-time, with four draws.
*    Coaches record: Mike Petke vs. RSL: first game - Jason Kreis vs. NY: P11 W5 L2 D4

NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls couldn't make it two wins on the trot, coming away from Toronto FC with a point after a scoreless draw Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. The Red Bulls are in a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference with 32 points from 21 matches.

LAST MATCH
*    Chances were few and far between, mainly coming after the break. Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles was called upon to make three saves on the day, while TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik needed to make just one save.
*    Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke made no changes to the team that rolled to a 4-0 triumph over the MontrÈal Impact at Red Bull Arena.
*    NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Luis Robles - Brandon Barklage, Jamison Olave, Markus Holgersson, Kosuke Kimura - Eric Alexander, Dax McCarty (Peguy Luyindula 79), Tim Cahill, Jonny Steele (Marius Obekop 69) - Thierry Henry, Fabian Espindola (Michael Bustamante 86).

TEAM NEWS
*    The Red Bulls haven't allowed a goal in their last two home games, the last a 4-0 win against the MontrÈal Impact on July 13. They have not scored a goal in their last three road games, after the scoreless draw with Toronto FC.
*    "Not impressive, not impressive at all. Toronto had the right mentality, we didn't," said Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke. "We play this game on paper we win this game, but this game is not played on paper, this game is played with heart, effort, logic and Toronto had all of those categories today so in a way I feel fortunate we got a point."
*    Goalkeeper Luis Robles recorded his third shutout in the last four matches, and now has seven for the season, tied for fourth in MLS.
*    "If there is any positives to take from this game it is that we are on the road, in a tough place to play, especially with the condition of the field. But to come away with a zero is big for us," said Robles.
*    Said fullback Kosuke Kimura: "We defended well as a unit, but the field was narrow and a bit dry and we couldn't have good possession going forward. Other than that we worked hard, defended well, and you can see that people can battle and you have to. Toronto were up for it and we have one point which is better than zero."
*    For a second time in the last three matches, Red Bulls boss Petke did not make any changes to his starting XI, the only two times he's done that this season.
*    "It's bittersweet because we're angry not to take three points, but by the way we played we are fortunate to get a point out of this game," said Petke. "Going into a huge game next week at home, coming off a 4-0 thrashing of Montreal firing on all cylinders, then to come here and play like this I am honestly confused."
*    The Red Bulls announced the signing of Bradley Wright-Phillips on Wednesday. Most recently at Brentford on loan, where he played 15 matches and recorded five goals, Wright-Phillips has also played at Manchester City, Southampton, Plymouth Argyle and Charlton Athletic.
*    "He has proved to be a goal scorer of note, whether playing up front or as a winger. We are delighted to sign him," said Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh. "He will certainly add another dimension to our roster with his pace and technical ability."

REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake saw their undefeated streak come to an end after eight games in dramatic fashion, Sporting Kansas City coming back for a 2-1 win Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL lead the Western Conference with 37 points from 21 games.

LAST MATCH
*    RSL took the lead in the 56th minute. Sporting 'keeper Jimmy Nielsen misplayed a free kick sent into in the box, knocking it straight up in the goal area, and Robbie Findley was able to head it home.
*    Real then went a man down in the 66th minute when Chris Wingert was sent off for a second yellow. Sporting capitalized less than a minute later when RSL failed to clear a free kick, and from the scramble in the box Claudio Bieler was able to head the ball forward to Soony Saad, who whirled and smashed the ball into the net from close range.
*    Then, seven minutes into stoppage time, the visitors hit for the winner when defender Ike Opara rose up high on a great corner sent in to the box by Graham Zusi.
*    RSL head coach Jason Kreis made three changes to the team that took a 3-0 win against FC Dallas in Frisco. Lovel Palmer and Aaron Maund came into the back four for Carlos Salcedo and Abdoulie Mansally, and Joao Plata started in place of Sebastian Velasquez.
*    REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Jeff Attinella - Lovel Palmer, Aaron Maund, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert (sent off 66) - Luis Gil, Yordany Alvarez (Khari Stephenson 79), Ned Grabavoy - Javier Morales - Robbie Findley (Olmes Garcia 69), Joao Plata (Abdoulie Mansally 68).

TEAM NEWS
*    Real Salt Lake had their eight-game undefeated streak put to an end, their first defeat since May 11. The loss also snapped a six-game undefeated run at Rio Tinto Stadium.
*    "We have to move on quickly. We've had a lot of really good runs and again tonight, they battled really hard," said RSL head coach Jason Kreis.
*    "I thought we were in a good spot there until the red card. We were up 1-0 and thought we were playing really well, for the most part. Things were tight in the back. We were in a good position until that point," said midfielder Ned Grabavoy. "Obviously it was under tough circumstances. On a different night we probably walk out of here with a point, but we don't. So we need a reaction next week."
*    Robbie Findley netted his fifth goal of the season, his first since June 22, matching his total from 2010, his last year in the league before moving to Europe.
*    Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella made his first career MLS start, after making his league debut as a substitute the week before vs. FC Dallas.
*    "I feel like I played pretty well. I felt like I was pretty comfortable back there. Obviously you never want to give up two goals, especially a goal in the 97th minute. It's kind of mixed emotions because you don't want to give up two goals, especially in the last minute," said Attinella. "But overall I thought I did all right. But obviously it wasn't enough to keep the point."
*    Aaron Maund made his second start of the season, both coming in the last four matches, partnering Nat Borchers in central defense.
*    "Every time we get out there, I think we're progressing a lot. It's the middle of the season right now, and we're really happy with our progress," said Maund.