Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers | 2017 MLS Match Preview

Albert Rusnak celebrates goal vs. NYCFC-5-17-17

Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers
2017 MLS Regular Season
Week 28
Rio Tinto Stadium
Sandy, Utah
Saturday, Sept. 16 – 9:30 pm ET

It looks very much like Real Salt Lake's desperation attempt to climb the standings is destined to fall short. The Claret-and-Cobalt hit rock bottom at the end of June, then got hot as soon as the calendar flipped to July, giving them at least a puncher's chance of making a postseason appearance. But two losses in their last four – including last week's 3-2 heartbreaker at Vancouver – make that chance fractional.

Portland, on the other hand, have just about punched their ticket. Like RSL, they were mostly scuffling along but then found the switch and flipped it. They've now gone 5-2-1 in their last eight games, climbing to the top of the West on points and into a tie for third on PPG. A road result would take them one step closer to November while doing huge damage to RSL's fading hopes.

Real Salt Lake

  • Suspended:None
  • International duty:None
  • Injury Report: OUT: F - Chad Barrett (knee surgery, 4-6 months), M - Jordan Allen (knee surgery 6/30, 6-7 months), M - Omar Holness (knee surgery 7/18, out 8-12 months), M - Ricardo Velazco (ankle surgery 7/13, out 4 months); QUESTIONABLE: D - Demar Phillips (hamstring injury), D - Marcelo Silva (hamstring injury)

Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Nick Rimando — Tony Beltran, David Horst, Justen Glad, Danilo Acosta — Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland — Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata — Yura Movsisyan 

Notes:Tony Beltran scored his first career MLS goal against Vancouver in his 241st career regular-season appearance, the third-most games in league history before scoring a first goal … Chris Wingert scored his first goal of the season in the same game, his first goal in an MLS game since May 22, 2010, a span of 191 games between goals

Portland Timbers

  • Suspended: M - Diego Chara
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Gbenga Arokoyo (Achilles tear, out for season), D - Chance Myers (hamstring injury), D - Marco Farfan (ankle injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Liam Ridgewell (quad injury), F - Fanendo Adi (hamstring injury), GK - Jake Gleeson (hamstring injury)

Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left-to-right): GK: Jeff Attinella – Zarek Valentin, Larrys Mabiala, Roy Miller, Vytas  – David Guzman, Lawrence Olum – Sebastian Blanco, Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe – Fanendo Adi

Notes:Darren Mattocks has two assists on the season, both coming in the last three matches. Mattocks has a goal and two assists over the last four matches. … Jeff Attinella was credited with three saves and recorded his second shutout of the season against New York City FC last weekend. He now has two shutouts in the last four matches, the Timbers' first since June 10

All-Time Series

RSL have a slight edge in the series thanks in large part to the teams' only previous meeting this year, a 4-1 RSL rout in Portland back on July 19. The Timbers have lost just one game since then.

  • Overall series record: RSL 6 wins (26 goals)... Portland 5 wins (21 goals)... 7 draws
  • Record at RSL: RSL 4 wins (14 goals)... Portland 3 wins (11 goals)... 2 draws


Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Kevin Klinger, Mike Kampmeinert
Fourth Official: Ricardo Salazar
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Dave Gantar