Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

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Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 6
Rio Tinto Stadium
– Sandy, Utah
9:30 pm ET – April 7, 2018
WATCH: MLS LIVE | TSN1 in Canada

Vancouver Whitecaps FC have secured maximum points from trips to Houston and Columbus and will try to do the same against Western Conference foe Real Salt Lake, who are looking to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat in Toronto last Friday night.

Can Major League Soccer’s road warriors do it again Saturday night in Sandy? The Whitecaps have won six of their last eight games against RSL, allowing multiple goals just twice over that span, per Opta.

Real Salt Lake  

Jozy Altidore struck for a first-half brace before Corey Baird pulled RSL back within a goal in the 82nd minute, but Tosaint Ricketts closed things for Toronto FC in a 3-1 win at BMO Field Friday night.

RSL coach Mike Petke said TFC played like a team desperate for their first league win of the season while his team needs a collective attitude adjustment after winning just one of their first four games.

“The big thing is mentality,” RSL coach Mike Petke said after training Monday. “Mentality covers a lot of things, but for me it all comes down to the mentality of the group.”

Veteran midfielder Kyle Beckerman said he can’t put his finger on why RSL is off to a slow start again. A year ago, the Claret-and-Cobalt were winless in their first five games before beating Vancouver, 3-0.

“We’re scratching our heads, trying to figure it out, trying to just get through it,” he said. “Hopefully if we do, like last year, then we can come out strong.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), M - Jordan Allen (knee), D - Taylor Peay (knee); QUESTIONABLE: D - Shawn Barry (hamstring), M - Luke Mulholland (hamstring); PROBABLE: D - Aaron Herrera (groin)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Nick Rimando — Brooks Lennon, David Horst, Justen Glad, Demar Phillips — Kyle Beckerman, Damir Kreilach — Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata — Luis Silva

  • Notes: Demar Phillips had five tackles and five interceptions against Toronto last weekend. It was just the fourth time since the start of 2016 that a RSL player has had at least five tackles and interceptions in a match. … Dating back to August 23, 2017, Real Salt Lake has won six of their last seven MLS home games (1L). They average 2.3 goals per game across these seven matches.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC      

As Mike Petke questions his team’s mentality, Whitecaps FC coach Carl Robinson lauds his squad's. The ‘Caps dealt with the long travel to Columbus, dealt with a halftime deficit and rallied for yet another road win thanks to goals by Brek Shea and Kei Kamara.

“We never give in and we’ve got quality now I believe in this squad from top to bottom in certain areas we’ve lacked in seasons gone by,” Robinson said after the game. “The mentality of the group, the focus of the group, the character of the group is still continuing to build, but they’re a terrific group to work with.”

  • Suspended: None 
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Sean Franklin (quad strain); QUESTIONABLE: M - Yordy Reyna (undisclosed), F - Erik Hurtado (undisclosed)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Stefan Marinovic — Jake Nerwinski, Kendall Waston, Jose Aja, Marcel de Jong — Jordon Mutch, Felipe, Russell Teibert — Alphonso Davies, Kei Kamara, Cristian Techera

  • Notes: Cristian Techera has scored five goals in six appearances against Real Salt Lake. He has 10 goals against the rest of MLS. … Since 2014, no team has more away victories (22) or clean sheets (19) in league play than the Vancouver Whitecaps.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Real Salt Lake 6 wins, 20 goals … Vancouver Whitecaps FC 8 wins, 24 goals … Ties 4
  • At Salt Lake: RSL 5 wins, 13 goals … Whitecaps FC 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 3
  • Last meeting at Salt Lake: Real Salt Lake 3, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0 (April 8, 2017)


Referee: Marcos De Oliveira
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
4th Official: Sorin Stoica
VAR: Alex Chilowicz