Latif Blessing, RSL - Decision Day

Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City | 2017 MLS Match Preview

Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City
2017 MLS Regular Season
Rio Tinto Stadium – Sandy, Ut.
Sunday, October 22 – 4 pm ET

Real Salt Lake have had a strong second half of the season, but their 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids last weekend put their playoff chances in serious peril. They will need to beat Sporting Kansas City on Decision Day presented by AT&T and hope that neither San Jose nor Dallas are able to win their home games against bottom-feeding West teams.

Sporting KC are not exactly enter the playoffs on a high either. Since winning the 2017 US Open Cup, Peter Vermes' team has won just one of their last five games and enter Sunday's match on a four-match winless streak. They've fallen all the way to fourth in the Western Conference standings and in danger of not having a home game in the postseason. That would be a huge blow to a team that has been eliminated on the road in the Knockout Round in each of the last three seasons.

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Real Salt Lake

  • Suspended: None
  • Int’l Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: F Chad Barrett (knee surgery), M Jordan Allen (knee surgery), M Omar Holness (knee surgery), M Ricardo Velazco (ankle surgery); QUESTIONABLE: M Jefferson Savarino (ankle injury), D Tony Beltran (right knee injury)

Projected Starting XI  
(4-2-3-1, left to right)

GK: Nick Rimando — Demar Phillips, Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva, Danny Acosta — Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland — Joao Plata, Albert Rusnak, Brooks Lennon — Luis Silva

Notes: RSL has won four straight home games, and outscored the opposition 10-2 along the way. The last time they won five or more consecutive home league games was a six-game run from Aug. 9th to Oct. 22, 2014. Following Josh Gatt’s fourth-minute goal against Colorado last weekend, RSL have now conceded 13 goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches this season, the most of any team in the league.

Sporting Kansas City

  • Suspended: None
  • Int’l Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: F Cameron Porter (broken fibula and ligament damage in right ankle), GK Tim Melia (right hamstring injury)

Projected Starting XI 
(4-3-3, left to right):
GK: Andrew Dykstra— Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Ike Opara, Graham Zusi — Ilie, Roger Espinoza, Benny Feilhaber — Daniel Salloi, Diego Rubio, Gerso

Notes: Sporting are on a four-match winless run (2L-2D), their longest of the 2017 season. They will finish 2017 having lost consecutive league games only once.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: RSL 9 wins (30 goals) … SKC  9 wins (31 goals) … Ties 7
  • At RSL: RSL 6 wins (18 goals) … SKC 3 wins (14 goals) … Ties 3


Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referees: Cameron Blanchard, Peter Manikowski
Fourth Official: Younes Marrakchi
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Juan Guzman Jr.

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