Real Salt Lake return to Rio Tinto Stadium trying to put the skids on a losing run when they take on the New York Red Bulls on Saturday evening. RSL have dropped back-to-back league games for the first time in more than a year, after a 2-0 loss at midweek at Sporting Kansas City. The Red Bulls are back in league action after a weekend off, their last match a 2-2 home draw with FC Dallas, although they won the Emirates Cup at Arsenal in London last weekend.
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REFEREE: Elias Bazakos. SAR (bench): Ian Anderson; JAR (opposite): Eric Boria; 4th: Tyler Ploeger
MLS Career: 16 games; FC/gm: 26.6; Y/gm: 2.9; R: 4; pens: 1
INJURY REPORT: REAL SALT LAKE — OUT: MF Javier Morales (L ankle fracture dislocation); DF Jamison Olave (L knee MCL strain); MF Nelson Gonzalez (R foot fracture); GK Kyle Reynish (concussion); DOUBTFUL: FW Paulo Jr. (L hamstring strain); MF Ned Grabavoy (L hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Tony Beltran (L calf strain); PROBABLE: FW Fabian Espindola (L hamstring strain), FW Alvaro Saborio (R knee swelling)
NEW YORK RED BULLS - OUT: FW Luke Rodgers (plantar fasciitis); QUESTIONABLE: MF Joel Lindpere (lower back injury); GK Frank Rost (R quad strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: NY: Dane Richards (through Aug. 7)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: RSL: Kyle Beckerman ... NY: Dane Richards, Luke Rodgers
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: RSL: Jean Alexandre, Fabian Espindola, Robbie Russell, Will Johnson, Chris Wingert Ö NY: Mehdi Ballouchy, Carlos Mendes, Roy Miller
ALL-TIME (12 meetings): Real 2 wins, 13 goals Ö Red Bulls 3 wins, 19 goals Ö Ties 7
AT SALT LAKE (6 meetings): Real 2 wins, 10 goals Ö Red Bulls 0 wins, 7 goals Ö Ties 4
RETURN MATCH: 9/21: New York Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake, 8 p.m. ET
LAST YEAR (MLS)
9/4: RSL 1, NY 0 (Espindola 4)
10/9: NY 0, RSL 0
- RSL has a three-game unbeaten streak vs. New York, with two consecutive victories (including the first meeting last season) followed by a scoreless draw in the first encounter between the clubs at Red Bull Arena.
- Those two wins are the only two ever vs. New York in league play for RSL, coming after nine winless meetings to start the all-time series (0-3-6).
- In five meetings all-time at Giants Stadium, RSL lost four, coming away with a draw only in the clubís first-ever game, a scoreless result April 2, 2005.
- The teams played the first game at Rio Tinto Stadium, a 1-1 draw Oct. 9, 2008. In three meetings all-time at Rice-Eccles Stadium, the New York club did not lose, playing to three draws.
- The teams then met in Sandy just more than a month later in the Western Conference Championship, the Red Bulls claiming a 1-0 victory on a goal by Dave van den Bergh to secure a spot in MLS Cup 2008.
- Coaches record: Jason Kreis vs. NY: P9 W4 L3 D2 Ö Hans Backe vs. RSL: P2 W0 L1 D1
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake went down a second consecutive defeat, going down 2-0 to Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday evening at Livestrong Sporting Park. RSL sits in fifth place in the Western Conference, with 33 points from 20 matches.
- Sporting opened the scoring on 29 minutes. Roger Espinoza stole a pass at the top of the box and burst into the area before driving a left-footed rocket just under the sprawling Nick Rimando in the RSL goal.
- Just five minutes later, SKC was up 2-0. Rimando made an impressive diving save on a Kei Kamara header from a long throw, but could only push it wide of the goalmouth, and Alex Bunbury swooped in to hammer the rebound off Rimando's hand and to the back of the net.
- Kansas City went down a man in the 56th minute after Espinoza was sent off for a tackle from behind on Kyle Beckerman, but the visitors could not take advantage.
- RSL coach Jason Kreis made four changes to the side that fell to a 2-0 defeat against the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tony Beltran came in at right back for Robbie Russell, Arturo Alvarez and Collen Warner came into the midfield for Ned Grabavoy and Andy Williams, and Alvaro Saborio returned from suspension for Jean Alexandre.
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran (Robbie Russell 68), Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Will Johnson, Kyle Beckerman, Arturo Alvarez (Andy Williams 59) - Collen Warner (Luis Gil 65) - Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio.
- Real Salt Lake has suffered back-to-back losses in league play for the first time since early last season, when they lost to the LA Galaxy (1-2, on April 17) and Columbus (0-1, on April 24).
- "My morale is real bad. We need guys right now to feel that pain because I honestly feel that weíre at a precipice for our season right now," RSL head coach Jason Kreis said. "We need a huge game on Saturday, a huge effort, we need these guys to pull together and give absolutely everything they have because to have three losses in a row would be monstrously bad."
- RSL has also allowed multiple goals in back-to-back games for the first time in the same stretch, since allowing two goals in each of three consecutive games April 1-17, 2010.
- "These are two things weíve told our team now for several years. If goals are going to come against us they are going to come against when we give away balls cheaply and when weíre not focused on defending dead balls," Kreis said.
- Real have not scored in back-to-back games for the second time this season, after playing to scoreless draws May 14 against Houston and May 22 at FC Dallas.
- "To be up a man for that many minutes, there's not an excuse that we donít come out of here with at least one goal. So we were lacking a bit of quality in the attacking third of the field that I thought we were missing last match as well," Kreis said.
- After the return home for the New York match, RSL head back out on the road for three consecutive games away from Rio Tinto Stadium.
- "We've simply got to stay together," Kyle Beckerman said. "And all of us – we've got to find a way to get out of this form that we're in right now. And we've got to try to do it as quickly as possible, because there are a lot of games coming up, and a lot of good teams, and a lot of road games."
- Arturo Alvarez made his first start since May 22, after coming off the substitutes' bench in each of the last two games. He had missed nine league games completely, many while on CONCACAF Gold Cup duty with El Salvador.
- "I take full responsibility for the first goal. I made a soft pass and we got punished for it," Alvarez said. "We're a lot better than what we've shown in the last two games. The biggest thing is that we need to pick up a win against New York."
NEW YORK RED BULLS
The New York Red Bulls return to league play after a weekend away, their last match a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas on July 23 at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls have 30 points from 23 games, now in third place in the Eastern Conference.
- The home side took the lead after 39 minutes. Dane Richards sent in a low pass to the center of the area from the right flank, and Juan Agudelo somehow got his right foot around FC Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez and chipped the cross up and over FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
- But FCD drew even in the 50th minute, after some nifty interchange between Ricardo Villar and halftime substitute Bruno Guarda. Villar sent a through ball to Marvin Ch·vez inside the penalty area, who fired a shot that deflected slightly off Tim Ream and beat goalkeeper Frank Rost.
- FC Dallas grabbed the lead in the 78th minute when FC Dallas left back Jair BenÌtez delivered a ball into the area. FCD central defender George John deflected it to the feet of Ch·vez, who perfectly placed his shot by Rost.
- But the Red Bulls salvaged a point five minutes from the end when Thierry Henry controlled a Dax McCarty pass 20 yards from goal, froze the defense with a fake and curled a left-footed shot near post past a hopelessly sprawled Hartman.
- Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made one change to the team that fell 4-1 to the Colorado Rapids at Dickís Sporting Goods Park. Rafael Marquez came into the back four for Carlos Mendes.
- NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-4-2): Frank Rost - Jan Gunnar Solli, Tim Ream, Rafael Marquez, Roy Miller - Dane Richards (sent off 80), Dax McCarty, Joel Lindpere, Mehdi Ballouchy (Chris Albright 82) - Juan Agudelo, Thierry Henry.
- In 14 league games, the Red Bulls have scored first. While they have yet to lose after opening the scoring, they have finished with a draw on eight of those occasions, by far the most in MLS.
- "It's one of those things, the mental thing after they get a goal and then get the second goal and it's kind of a crappy goal, it's a crappy performance," right back Jan Gunnar Solli said. "It was easy, a little too easy for them. We definitely feel like after the first half we played, we controlled things very well and then we lost it in the second half. We battled back well, but now we need to bounce back for the next game and win."
- Over the last seven league games, the Red Bulls have scored 11 goals – four of those from Joel Lindpere, and three each from Thierry Henry and Juan Agudelo, after those two both hit against FC Dallas. Henry entered the week tied for the lead in the MLS Golden Boot with 11 goals, after Landon Donovan netted twice while New York was away from league play.
- "That's the kind of player he is. Suddenly he can just switch on, make a difference and score a goal like that. It's a phenomenal goal," Red Bulls boss Hans Backe said. "But we didn't perhaps set him up the way we want in the second half. The first half was OK, but the second half, just a little too quick going for final passes, killer passes. And in this heat, it kills you."
- Last weekend, the Red had a stunning performance in the Emirates Cup in London, winning the four-team event.
- In the opening match, the Red Bulls defeated France's Paris Saint-Germain FC 1-0, as Lindpere scored the game's only goal in the 27th minute. Then in the second match, an own goal gave the Red Bulls a 1-1 draw and the tournament title after Robin van Persie opened the scoring for the hosts.
- "The players must take this momentum boost back with them," Backe said. "I said to them yesterday anything could happen in this Emirates Cup. We could lose 6-0 both games and embarrass ourselves; but to pick up a 1-0 win yesterday and tie a game with Arsenal, even after only having 20 percent of possession, it shows that we can defend well and we will take that with us."
- Here is the Red Bulls team v. PSG: Frank Rost, Chris Albright (John Rooney 81), Carlos Mendes, Tim Ream, Roy Miller, Dane Richards, Teemu Tainio (Stephen Keel 58), Dax McCarty (Matt Kassel 89), Joel Lindpere, Jan Gunnar Solli, Juan Agudelo (Corey Hertzog 74)
- Here is the Red Bulls team v. Arsenal: Frank Rost, Roy Miller, Chris Albright (John Rooney 78), Tim Ream, Rafa M·rquez, Carlos Mendes (Stephen Keel 46), Teemu Tainio (Juan Agudelo 55), Dax McCarty, Jan Gunnar Solli, Dane Richards, Thierry Henry
- "I think yesterday Paris Saint-Germain underestimated us. Then they thought it is difficult to score against New York. Arsenal had the same problem today. It was a completely different game, but they forgot how to score against us as well," goalkeeper Frank Rost said after the draw to Arsenal.