Preview: RSL at D.C. United

RSL set to take on D.C. United at RFK Stadium on Saturday

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will play its second match of the 2013 MLS season on Saturday, when it faces Eastern Conference foe D.C. United at 5:00 p.m. MT at RFK Stadium. The Claret-and-Cobalt seek its first win in the nation’s capital, having gone 0-4-3 in seven previous MLS matches in D.C., along with a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup loss in 2010.

Saturday’s match will be broadcast live on ABC4, ESPN 700 AM and 102.3 La Gran D/1600 AM. ABC4 will air the 30-minute Ford Postgame Show immediately following the match; ESPN 700 will begin its pregame coverage at 4:00 p.m. MT and will air an hour-long postgame show immediately after the final whistle. 

The Claret-and-Cobalt ride into Saturday’s match on a high following a pair of late goals from FW Alvaro Saborio on Sunday to defeat 2012 Supporters’ Shield champion San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 in the team’s season opener.  The Saborio double improves RSL to 31-5-5 all-time in games in which the Costa Rican scores, giving him 55 goals in 93 career RSL matches. The game-winning goal was Saborio’s 20th of his RSL career, coming in his 16th multi-goal match for the club.

For the second consecutive season, RSL snapped an extended home unbeaten streak at the home of the defending Supporters’ Shield champion with a two-goal victory (3-1 win at the L.A. Galaxy to snap its 26-game home unbeaten run in the 2012 opener). The Claret-and-Cobalt will look to do it again on Saturday at D.C., which hasn’t lost at RFK Stadium since opening day last year – a run of 16straight home games without a loss.

RSL GK Nick Rimando and MF Kyle Beckerman each hit career milestones in Sunday’s win, with Rimando becoming the second player in MLS history to register 100 regular season shutouts and Beckerman becoming the 20th player in league history to hit 300 career regular season appearances. Additionally, DF Tony Beltran became the 10th player in RSL history with 100 career starts.

Rimando trails only unsigned GK Kevin Hartman on the all-time regular season shutouts list, sitting 12 clean sheets behind the former L.A., Kansas City and Dallas ‘keeper. RSL will honor Rimando’s accomplishment in a special pregame ceremony ahead of the Claret-and-Cobalt’s home opener against the Colorado Rapids at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 16 (fans encouraged to arrive early prior to the 4:00 p.m. MT kickoff).

Beckerman is the seventh player with RSL ties to reach 300 career regular season appearances. The Claret-and-Cobalt captain joins Jeff Cunningham (365), Chris Klein (333), RSL Head Scout Andy Williams (332), Rimando (320), Carey Talley (315) and RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis (305) as current/former RSL players in the exclusive club.

RSL won 1-0 in its lone meeting with D.C. United in 2012, riding a second-half Will Johnson header to down the Black-and-Red, 1-0, in a lightning-delayed match at Rio Tinto Stadium on Sept. 1, 2012.

Real Salt Lake will again be without regular starters MF Javier Morales (R Lateral Meniscus Injury), DF Nat Borchers (R Quad Surgery) and DF Chris Wingert (R Metatarsal Fracture) due to injury. RSL MF Ned Grabavoy will again miss this weekend’s match to attend to family issues. For D.C. United, perennial All-Star Dwayne De Rosario will miss the match while serving the second game of a two-game suspension picked up for an incident in a preseason match.

The Claret-and-Cobalt will return to Utah on Sunday for a week of training ahead of its March 16 home opener at Rio Tinto Stadium against Rocky Mountain Cup Presented by Mark Miller Subaru rival Colorado Rapids.

Stay tuned to www.RealSaltLake.com and follow the club on Twitter @RealSaltLake for all the latest news and information on the team ahead of Saturday’s MLS matchup at D.C. United.

How to Follow Real Salt Lake at D.C. United

  • Kickoff: 5:00 p.m. MT at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
  • TV: ABC4 (Ford Postgame Show to immediately follow final whistle)
  • English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame begins at 4:00 p.m. MT)
  • Spanish Radio: La Gran D 102.3 FM & Juan 1600 AM
  • Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide match updates

MLS Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL at D.C. Match Now Available Online

Following are the links to the Adobe PDF version of the MLS Game Guide in advance of Saturday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and D.C. United. If you have any problems obtaining the document, would prefer to receive it as an attachment, or are seeking more information on the match, please contact Media Services Manager Sam Stejskal in the RSL Communications Department via email at sstejskal@realsaltlake.com.

Click here to download the PDF version of the MLS Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL-DC matchup

RSL History v. D.C.

Real Salt Lake leads its all-time series with D.C. United 6-5-4. Despite its winning record against D.C., RSL has struggled in matches at RFK Stadium, posting a 0-5-3 record in eight all-time MLS matches in the nation’s capital, with a 0-1-0 mark in U.S. Open Cup action.

RSL won its only match against D.C. in 2012, getting a 48th minute goal from former RSL MF Will Johnson to down the Black-and-Red 1-0 in a lightning-delayed match at Rio Tinto Stadium on Sept. 1. That game was suspended in just the fourth minute, with the delay lasting a total of 84 minutes.