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15 September 2:55 pm

MLSsoccer.com has a new poll out asking whether or not Real Salt Lake's Chris Schuler will be the newest defender to break out on the U.S. Men's National Team. Since coming back from injury last fall, Schuler has been steadfast for the Claret-and-Cobalt, helping lead the club to MLS Cup in 2013 and starting 23 games so far this season.

RSL TV analyst Brian Dunseth made the case for Schuler in last Friday's nationally broadcast match at Seattle saying, "It's been an injury-filled couple of years. He never really got past 16 games played in a season. Right now, tonight is his 23rd game. He's stayed fit and focused and in my opinion he is a guy who should be called up to the U.S. Men's National Team in January."

So MLS asks, will Schuler be the next Besler? Or will it be one of the other up-and-comers getting a shot with Jurgen Klinsmann's national team?

You can answer MLSsoccer.com's question HERE

 

10 September 2:34 pm

The forward dilemma

For the first time this year, Real Salt Lake has a full arsenal of healthy and available forwards for head coach Jeff Cassar to choose from for Friday’s critical clash at Seattle Sounders FC. Head coach Jeff Cassar will have a difficult decision to make with Joao Plata, Olmes Garcia, Robbie Findley, Sebastian Jaime and now Alvaro Saborio all up for selection. Devon Sandoval and Benji Lopez are both healthy but are unlikely to appear as Sandoval is currently on a short-term loan with North Carolina Railhawks and Lopez has yet to see any first time minutes.

Friday’s match at CenturyLink Field will provide an opportunity for RSL to gain much needed ground in the Supporters’ Shield race, so choosing the best pair to start will be imperative. RSL’s 2-1 win over FC Dallas saw Robbie Findley notch his first goal of the year, making his case to earn a second-straight start on Friday. The match also saw the MLS debut of Argentine striker Sebastian Jaime who subbed on in the 67th minute, and the return of Alvaro Saborio who scored the game-winner just 14 seconds after entering the match in the 76th minute. RSL’s 2014 leading goal scorer and regular starter Joao Plata will be back from international duty with Ecuador, but after playing last Saturday and a week of travel, might serve as an option off the bench.

After dealing with multiple injuries and international absences, Real Salt Lake now has a plethora of dangerous attackers. With the positive development come new challenges, as finding out how best to use them will be the Claret-and-Cobalt’s next big task.

Will RSL be able to quell the deadly duo of Dempsey and Martins?

Real Salt Lake will likely face the lethal forward duo of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins for the first time on Friday. Seattle Sounders FC was without Dempsey in the clubs’ first meeting of the year on May 31 due to international duty, which saw the Cascadia club end RSL’s 12-game unbeaten start to the season with a 4-0 thumping at CenturyLink Field. In the clubs’ second encounter on Aug. 16, RSL pulled off a 2-1 win at Rio Tinto Stadium in a match that did not feature Martins who was serving a red card suspension.

Dempsey and Martins have been incredibly dangerous this year with Martins leading the Seattle club in goals and assists with 12 tallies and nine helpers. Dempsey has also been fruitful this year, notching 11 goals and six assists on the season. Dempsey and Martins have a combined total of 18 goals scored when on the field together, with the U.S. Men’s National team Captain only scoring this year when Martins is playing. The Cascadia club has been prolific on a whole, notching a total of 48 goals this season, second most in the league behind LA Galaxy.

Real Salt Lake will have to be especially wary of the dynamic pair on Seattle’s home turf, with the Sounders unbeaten in its last four games at CenturyLink Field. The Pacific Northwest side enters Friday’s match on a three-game win streak and four-game unbeaten run.

Major implications for Supporters’ Shield

Real Salt Lake will be looking for three points on Friday, as the race for the Supporters’ Shield heats up with just seven games remaining in the regular season. Real Salt Lake will need rack up points if it is to remain a contender, with Seattle sitting first with 51 points and 16 wins, followed by L.A. with 49 points and 14 wins and then D.C. United with 47 points and 14 wins. Seattle, L.A. and D.C. all claim higher goal differentials – the second tiebreaker if even on points and number of wins at the end of the season. The Claret-and-Cobalt has found measured success at Seattle, posting a 2-3-2 regular season record at CenturyLink Field.

Supporters’ Shield Standings as of 9/10

#

Club

PTS

GP

PPG

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

HG

HGD

RG

RGD

1

Seattle Sounders FC

51

26

1.96

16

7

3

48

35

13

22

11

26

2

2

LA Galaxy

49

26

1.88

14

5

7

54

27

27

33

22

21

5

3

D.C. United

47

27

1.74

14

8

5

42

30

12

25

14

17

-2

4

Real Salt Lake

46

27

1.7

12

5

10

42

32

10

24

11

18

-1

5

FC Dallas

42

27

1.56

12

9

6

46

36

10

26

9

20

1

6

Sporting Kansas City

42

28

1.5

12

10

6

39

34

5

21

5

18

0

7

New England Revolution

39

27

1.44

12

12

3

39

38

1

23

11

16

-10

8

Columbus Crew

36

27

1.33

9

9

9

38

34

4

22

8

16

-4

9

Philadelphia Union

36

27

1.33

9

9

9

43

41

2

23

4

20

-2

10

Portland Timbers

35

27

1.3

8

8

11

47

46

1

28

0

19

1

11

New York Red Bulls

34

26

1.31

8

8

10

41

39

2

28

10

13

-8

12

Vancouver Whitecaps

34

26

1.31

7

6

13

33

34

-1

20

2

13

-3

13

Toronto FC

33

26

1.27

9

11

6

35

42

-7

17

-2

18

-5

14

Houston Dynamo

31

26

1.19

9

13

4

31

48

-17

21

3

10

-20

15

Colorado Rapids

30

27

1.11

8

13

6

37

46

-9

22

9

15

-18

16

Chicago Fire

29

26

1.12

5

7

14

33

39

-6

16

1

17

-7

17

San Jose Earthquakes

27

25

1.08

6

10

9

32

36

-4

19

1

13

-5

18

Chivas USA

24

27

0.89

6

15

6

23

47

-24

10

-15

13

-9

19

Montreal Impact

20

26

0.77

5

16

5

29

48

-19

17

-2

12

-17

 

08 September 12:54 pm

Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio made quite the return on Saturday against Dallas, scoring the game-winner just 14 seconds after stepping onto the pitch. The appearance was Saborio’s first since suffering a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot while with the Costa Rican national team at the end of May. The injury saw Saborio miss the 2014 FIFA World Cup and three months of MLS play (post-injury), with his last Claret-and-Cobalt appearance coming on May 11 in the club’s 5-2 win at Houston Dynamo. RSL’s all-time leading scorer worked incredibly hard to return from his injury as fast as possible and his dedication paid off with the incredible moment on Saturday. Saborio now has seven goals on the season and 59 career regular season tallies for the Claret-and-Cobalt

Relive the spectacle in all its glory above.

04 September 12:59 pm

Alright RSL nation, MLSsoccer.com just posted a poll asking whether Brad Guzan or Nick Rimando should be the U.S. Men’s National Team’s number goalkeeper while Tim Howard is on a one-year sabbatical. Rimando just put in a fantastic second half performance for the USMNT on Wednesday, making four saves to preserve the Americans’ 1-0 win over Czech Republic. The U.S. is currently unbeaten with Rimando in net, posting a 13-0-2 with the RSL veteran between the posts.

So who do you think should be Jurgen Klinsmann's No. 1 goalkeeper in 2015? RSL fans knows the answer, so let’s show the league and vote for Nick HERE!

29 August 2:36 pm

With nine games left, RSL in search of points in airtight west

 
With just nine games remaining in the 2014 MLS regular season, Real Salt Lake will be in need of points this weekend as the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings remain airtight. After last weekend’s 2-1 loss at FC Dallas and LA Galaxy’s midweek win over D.C. United, the Claret-and-Cobalt slipped into fourth-place in the Western Conference. RSL currently posts an 11-5-9 record for a total of 42 points which ties the club on points with FC Dallas, but the Texas side records one more win than the Utah club to situate itself above RSL. LA (43 points) is parked above FC Dallas while Seattle Sounders FC (45 points) claim first-place in the west and league with a game in hand on RSL. Vancouver Whitecaps FC currently occupy the fifth and final playoff spot with 33 points. But the clubs underneath the red line can’t be discounted either – just three points separate the ‘Caps and Portland Timbers (31 points) and Colorado Rapids (30 points).  
 
If RSL wants to remain in the race for Supporters’ Shield and at least secure a top-three finish in the west, the Claret-and-Cobalt will have to produce on Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium.
 
Western Conference
#
Club
PTS
GP
PPG
W
L
T
GF
GA
GD
HG
HGD
RG
RGD
1
45
24
1.88
14
7
3
43
33
10
21
10
22
0
2
43
24
1.79
12
5
7
45
27
18
27
16
18
2
3
42
25
1.68
12
7
6
45
33
12
26
9
19
3
4
42
25
1.68
11
5
9
39
30
9
22
10
17
-1
5
33
24
1.38
7
5
12
33
31
2
20
5
13
-3
6
31
25
1.24
7
8
10
41
43
-2
25
0
16
-2
7
30
25
1.2
8
11
6
37
39
-2
22
9
15
-11
8
25
23
1.09
6
10
7
28
32
-4
18
1
10
-5
9
24
24
1
6
12
6
21
37
-16
8
-10
13
-6
 
Will Saturday see the debut of new RSL signing Sebastian Jaime?
 
Saturday’s contest at Buck Shaw Stadium could see the debut of newly signed Real Salt Lake forward Sebastian Jaime. The Argentine striker joined the club earlier this week and will travel with RSL to San Jose, but the newcomer will likely only serve as an option off the bench. Jaime was acquired from Chilean Primera División club Unión Española earlier this month and will hopefully provide another dangerous attacking option with RSL in need of positive results in the final stretch of the season.
 
Can RSL take advantage of an injury-riddled San Jose?
 
Real Salt Lake will not be facing a full-strength San Jose Earthquakes squad on Saturday night. The Bay Area club has been injury-riddled, suffering multiple blows to some of its most critical players. Newly signed Designated Player Matias Perez Garcia picked up a serious knee injury against FC Dallas on Aug. 16 that will see him miss Saturday’s match and up to four more weeks. San Jose will also be without forward Steven Lenhart who also suffered a knee injury and defender Clarence Goodson who is recovering from a toe injury. Perhaps most disheartening for the Quakes, in-form midfielder Yannick Djalo picked up a quad strain on Aug. 2 against Seattle and has not returned to the starting lineup since.  Despite the rash of injuries, RSL will still need to be wary of the California side as forward Chris Wondolowski continues to be a force to be reckoned with, recording his fifth-straight season with 10 or more goals.
27 August 1:29 pm

Real Salt Lake will look to bounce back from its 2-1 defeat at the hands of FC Dallas on Saturday, when it takes on San Jose Earthquakes at 8:30 p.m. MT at Buck Shaw Stadium on CW30.

Real Salt Lake and San Jose played to a wild 3-3 draw the last time they met on March 15 in RSL’s second game of the 2014 season. San Jose took an early lead, getting a sixth minute goal from FW Chris Wondolowski to go up 1-0. RSL hit back with three unanswered goals before halftime, with Captain Kyle Beckerman equalizing with a fantastic 11th minute strike before forward Joao Plata scored in the 32nd and midfielder Luke Mulholland tallied in first half stoppage time to give RSL a 3-1 lead at the break. Unfortunately, the Claret-and-Cobalt couldn’t hold onto its advantage, with defender Victor Bernardez scoring in the 75th and 95th to give the Quakes a result.

Saturday’s match will be a critical one as the playoff race in the Western Conference heats up in the final stretch of the season. San Jose has struggled recently, going winless in its last four matches for an eighth-place spot in the west. But San Jose can never be discounted, as the last match between the two sides proved all too well. Check out the March 15 match highlights above.

20 August 3:11 pm

Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas will meet for the second time this season on Friday night, with the Claret-and-Cobalt heading to Texas in search of its second-ever win at FCD. Friday's game will kick at 7:00 p.m. MT and will be nationally broadcast on NBC Sports Network.

Here are a few storylines to watch ahead of the match:

RSL looking to stay atop the west; continue six-game unbeaten run

The Claret-and-Cobalt has emerged from its mid-summer slump, now going unbeaten in its last six games for a 4-0-2 record. RSL is also currently riding a three-game win streak in the month of August, defeating Colorado Rapids 2-1 on Aug. 2, downing D.C. United 3-0 on Aug. 9 and topping Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 on Aug. 16.

The win over the Sounders last Saturday moved the Claret-and-Cobalt to the top of the Western Conference and inserted RSL into the Supporters’ Shield race with an with a current 11-4-9 record and total of 42 points. RSL is currently tied for first in the league on points with Sporting Kansas City, but the MLS Cup foe has the slight edge with one more win than the Utah club to break the deadlock.

Real Salt Lake has a difficult end to the season with 10 games remaining – six on the road and four at home – all against competitive Western Conference teams. A win on Friday in Dallas will surely help keep the Claret-and-Cobalt in the conversation for both top spots, especially with Seattle only one point behind RSL and only nine points separating RSL and fifth-place Vancouver Whitecaps FC, who occupy the final playoff spot.

Will RSL be able to quell Dallas’ dangerous attack?

The Claret-and-Cobalt will have its hands full on Friday, when it takes on what some argue is the most dangerous attack in MLS. FC Dallas has been on a roll of its own, going unbeaten in its last nine games and winning three straight. Dallas enter Friday’s match coming off a 5-0 thrashing of San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium last weekend. MLS rookie striker Tesho Akindele notched his first professional hat trick and forward Fabian Castillo recorded a brace in the 5-0 demolition. The Hoops’ attacking duo has been on fire lately, as Akindele has scored six goals in Dallas’ last six matches and Castillo has five goals and three assists in their last six.

RSL’s back line will have to be particularly aware of the dangerous duo, whose speed and confidence will be especially difficult in a hostile and sweltering environment on Friday.

Can RSL beat the odds in Texas?

RSL has struggled historically in Texas, recording its first-ever win in the Lone Star State last year. The Claret-and-Cobalt defeated FC Dallas 3-0 on July 13, 2013 at Toyota Stadium, a win that also marked the club’s 100th regular season victory in MLS. The Claret-and-Cobalt continued to make history in Texas this year, defeating Houston Dynamo for the first time at BBVA Compass Stadium with a 5-2 win on May 11.

Even though RSL has had recent success in Texas, the Claret-and-Cobalt won’t have history on its side as RSL posts a 1-11-2 record at Dallas across all competitions. In 12 regular season matches at FCD, RSL has only recorded nine goals while allowing 21. Despite RSL’s poor all-time record in Texas, the Utah club should be at full strength when the two sides meet on Friday, although the status of midfielder Javier Morales is still TBD. RSL was able to pull off last year’s 3-0 win with an unfamiliar lineup as Captain Kyle Beckerman, defender Tony Beltran, goalkeeper Nick Rimando and forward Alvaro Saborio were all unavailable due to international duty. Let’s hope a confident and healthy Real Salt Lake can work some magic and make it two in a row on Friday.