Preview: RSL v. Chicago Fire
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (6-5-2, 20 points, West #2) will open a lengthy home stand on Saturday, when it will take on the Chicago Fire (2-7-1, 7 points, East #8) at 7:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Saturday’s match will be broadcast live on CW30, ESPN700 AM and 102.3 La Gran D FM/1600 AM. CW30 will air its 30-minute Ford Postgame Show immediately following the match; ESPN 700 will begin its pregame coverage at 6:00 p.m. MT and will air an hour-long postgame show immediately following the final whistle.
The Claret-and-Cobalt won its last match, getting a pair of goals from MF Ned Grabavoy to beat Chivas USA 4-1 at the Home Depot Center on Sunday night. The win moved RSL to 2-1-0 on its three-game road trip after a 2-1 win at the New England Revolution on May 8 and a 3-2 loss at the Montreal Impact on May 11.
Saturday’s game against Chicago will be RSL’s first at Rio Tinto Stadium since its 2-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 4. The match is the first in RSL’s four-game MLS home stand. The home stand could be as long as seven games across all competitions depending on how far the Claret-and-Cobalt progress in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup; RSL will begin its Open Cup run on Tuesday, when it will take on the second-division Atlanta Silverbacks at 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The Fire is the lone MLS opponent to boast a winning record at RSL, posting a 3-2-2 mark against the Claret-and-Cobalt on Utah soil. Chicago authored RSL’s worst-ever home loss in its last visit in 2011, defeating Head Coach Jason Kreis’ team 3-0 in a match marred by an early red card for RSL captain Kyle Beckerman. Of course, Real Salt Lake does have some good history against Chicago, defeating the Fire in the 2009 Eastern Conference Final 5-4in penalty kicks at Toyota Park to earn a berth to MLS Cup 2009.
Chicago has gotten off to a poor start after making the playoffs in 2012 for the first time in three years, currently sitting in eighth-place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-7-1 record. The Fire has struggled mightily in front of net, scoring just six goals in 10 league games this year. Chicago enters Saturday’s match on a three-game losing streak, falling 1-0 to the Philadelphia Union on May 18 and May 11 and losing 2-0 at Montreal on April 27.
RSL has a quick turnaround after Saturday’s match, beginning its run through the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, when it will host the Atlanta Silverbacks at 7:30 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL will play again next Saturday, June 1, hosting the San Jose Earthquakes in MLS action at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets to the Fire, Silverbacks and Earthquakes games are still available and can be purchased online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets, at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Chicago Fire
- Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
- TV: CW30 (Ford Postgame Show to immediately follow final whistle)
- English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame begins at 6:00 p.m. MT)
- Spanish Radio: La Gran D 102.3 FM & Juan 1600 AM
- Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide live match updates
RSL History v. Chicago Fire
Real Salt Lake is 3-6-6 all-time in regular season play against the Chicago Fire. The Claret-and-Cobalt has struggled a bit against Chicago in Utah, posting a 2-3-3 record against the Men-in-Red on Utah soil. The Fire is the only MLS team that RSL has a losing record against in league play in the Beehive State.
RSL and Chicago played to a scoreless draw in their last meeting, tying 0-0 at Toyota Park on May 9, 2012. The Claret-and-Cobalt suffered its worst-ever home loss in Chicago’s last visit to Rio Tinto Stadium, falling 3-0 to the Fire in a game that featured an early red card to RSL captain Kyle Beckerman and a hat trick for former Fire MF Marco Pappa.