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Real Salt Lake vs. DC United | MLS Match Preview

REAL SALT LAKE vs D.C. UNITED
RIO TINTO STADIUM, Sandy, Utah
Aug. 9, 2014 (WEEK 22, MLS Game #206)
8 p.m. MT (KTVX-ABC)
MLS Stream of the Week

A high-quality matchup is ahead Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium as Real Salt Lake play host to D.C. United. Real come into the game just two points behind Seattle for leadership of the Western Conference, extending their undefeated run to four games in a 1-0 win at Rocky Mountain rivals Colorado Rapids last weekend. United are just two points out of first place in the Eastern Conference, behind overall leaders Sporting Kansas City, their winning streak put to an end after four games last weekend in a 1-0 loss at the Houston Dynamo.

REFEREE: Daniel Radford. AR1 (bench): Bill Dittmar; AR2 (opposite): Paul Scott; 4th: Allen Chapman
MLS Career: 111 games; FC/gm: 24.3; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 18; pens: 18

SUSPENDED: RSL: Tony Beltran (caution accumulation, through Aug. 10), Chris Wingert (caution accumulation, through Aug. 10); Aaron Maund (through Aug. 10) - DC: Perry Kitchen (caution accumulation, through Aug. 10)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: RSL: Javier Morales
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: RSL: Nat Borchers, Alvaro Saborio, Chris Schuler, Luke Mulholland, Olmes Garcia, Kyle Beckerman - DC: Fabian Espindola, Lewis Neal, Davy Arnaud, Chris Korb
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (16 meetings): Real 6 wins, 21 goals - United 6 wins, 24 goals - Ties 4
AT SALT LAKE (9 meetings): Real 6 wins, 16 goals - United 1 win, 7 goals - Ties 1

LAST YEAR (MLS)
3/9: DC 1, RSL 0 (Pajoy 60)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • Real Salt Lake have never won at RFK Stadium. United have won five of the eight league encounters all-time on East Capitol Street, and also claimed a U.S. Open Cup play-in match there in 2010.
  • United won on their first ever trip to Utah in 2005 - a 3-1 win at Rice-Eccles Stadium - and haven't won there since. Real are 6-0-1 at home since, including a 1-0 victory in the last meeting in 2012.
  • Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. RSL: P4 W2 L1 D1 | Jeff Cassar vs. DC: first game

REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake extended their undefeated run to four games with a 1-0 victory against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. RSL are in second place in the Western Conference with 36 points from 22 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • RSL hit for the opener after just 14 minutes. Chris Wingert's run down the left side opened up plenty of space for a hard-charging Javier Morales, and he fired into the bottom corner from just inside the penalty box past Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
  • Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando made six saves, perhaps the best saved for last, as Deshorn Brown's desperation blast required a terrific diving save for Rimando's 112th career shutout, equaling the all-time MLS record.
  • RSL head coach Jeff Cassar made four changes to the team that played to a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls at Rio Tinto Stadium. Aaron Maund came into the back four for Chris Schuler, Luke Mulholland started in midfield in place of Luis Gil, and Robbie Findley and Devon Sandoval came in as the strike pair in favor of Robbie Findley and Devon Sandoval.
  • REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Aaron Maund (ejected 46), Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Luis Gil (John Stertzer 85), Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy - Javier Morales (Cole Grossman 74) - Robbie Findley, Devon Sandoval (Carlos Salcedo 50).

TEAM NEWS

  • Real extended their undefeated run to four games, and won on the road for the first time since May 11, when they won at Houston.
  • "Whenever you get three points on the road, especially with the circumstances that we had on the field with 10 men, it feels really great," goalkeeper Nick Rimando said.
  • With the shutout, his first since April 19 (a 1-0 win at Portland), Rimando became the all-time MLS record-holder with 112 career shutouts.
  • "We've been trying to do it now for a little while. For Nick [Rimando] to get it and kind of get that over with is something. The accomplishment that he achieved tonight is unbelievable. His play was unbelievable. He really came up big in the times we needed it, and I thought he commanded his box fantastic," said Cassar. "He's always there for us. We've been doing a really good job of defending and he hasn't had that much work in the last few games, but this game he was busy, and it wasn't just stopping shots. It was manning his box and I really felt like he did a great job of that."
  • Real kept a clean sheet for the first time since May 24, when Jeff Attinella backstopped a scoreless draw with FC Dallas.
  • "I think we've really been searching for a shutout. It was good for us to have a tough challenge with ten men and be able to hold them off and get the shutout," said midfielder Kyle Beckerman. "The three points is big because we were only three points ahead of them. We got a little separation. These are the kinds of games that may be a turning point for our season."
  • Javier Morales scored his first goal since July 4. It was his first goal from open play since May 11, when he netted a hat trick; his last three goals had been from the penalty spot.
  • Aaron Maund made his first start since May 31, when he played in a 4-0 loss to Seattle Sounders FC. But he was sent off early in the second half.
  • "We didn't plan to play short. We had our roster set up and if we had any issues, we were able to deal with them," said Cassar. "Our subs were fantastic. Carlos [Salcedo] was a beast on the back line when he came in. Cole [Grossman] really solidified the midfield. John [Stertzer] really made a couple nice plays even though he was in for seven minutes."
  • In addition to Maund, starting fullbacks Tony Beltran and Chris Wingert will also be suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
  • "It's going to be a tricky one. It doesn't happen too many times where both outside backs are gone in a game," Cassar said. "But we're prepared. We have guys that will step in and do a great job for us."

D.C. UNITED
D.C. United saw their winning streak come to an end after four games, falling 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo on Sunday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. United are in second place in the Eastern Conference with 37 points from 21 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's only goal came after the regulation 90 minutes were complete. After the ball came off a United defender in the area with goalkeeper Bill Hamid out of the play, substitute forward Omar Cummings got to the ball first and set up Will Bruin for an easy tap-in and the game-winner.
  • Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was credited with two saves in recording the shutout.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made two changes to the team that rolled to a 3-0 win against Toronto FC at RFK Memorial Stadium. Taylor Kemp came into the back four for Chris Korb, and Lewis Neal started in midfield in place of Nick DeLeon.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-1-1): Bill Hamid - Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, Taylor Kemp - Lewis Neal (Michael Seaton 75), Perry Kitchen, Davy Arnaud, Chris Rolfe - Luis Silva (Collin Martin 60) - Eddie Johnson.

TEAM NEWS

  • United saw their four-game winning streak come to an end with their first loss since June 28, when they were defeated 1-0 by Seattle Sounders FC.
  • "It was a gutsy performance from us, and we knew it was going to take that. We knew we were going to have to hold the fort at times," said United head coach Ben Olsen."II thought we did that, and to end that way is tough to swallow. It doesn't get any easier next week. Our focus is to learn from this, and move on like we've done this year."
  • The defeat was also the last time United were shut out at the attacking end. They had scored 10 goals in their previous four matches.
  • Credit Houston. "They had more juice than us in most areas of the field," Olsen said. "I thought we absorbed it, and the couple chances we had we weren't that clean with the final stuff. Again we'll learn from it and move on."
  • Taylor Kemp made his first career MLS start, playing 90 minutes at left back in place of Chris Korb. Kemp had made his MLS debut June 28 in a late substitute appearance.
  • Lewis Neal made his first start since June 28, after four consecutive substitute appearances, as Nick DeLeon had his streak of 11 consecutive starts ended.
  • "I thought we played well enough to get a point. In these type of games, and I've been a part of a lot of them here in Houston, it's one play that goes either way. One play can win it for you, and as we saw one play can lose it for you," said defender Bobby Boswell. "Good group of guys, our depth tested tonight. Not the result we wanted but we'll move on, and learn from it. We have to come back down here later in the year, so obviously we need to learn from the experience."
  • United announced they will lose Conor Doyle for the remainder of the season after he suffered an injury to right knee and underwent surgery.