Preview: RSL v. Portland Timbers
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (13-8-6, 45 points, West #1) will take on the Portland Timbers (9-4-12, 39 points, West #4) for the third time in 24 days on Friday, hosting the Cascadia club in a nationally televised match at 8:00 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Tickets are available to Friday’s game and can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
The match will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network and can be heard locally on the radio on ESPN 700 AM and 102.3 La Gran D FM/1600 AM. ESPN 700 will begin its pregame coverage at 7:00 p.m. and will air an hour-long postgame show immediately following the final whistle. Friday’s broadcast will be the second of three national TV games for RSL this year; the Claret-and-Cobalt’s will play its third national TV game in its next match on Sept. 13 at Seattle Sounders FC.
Friday’s contest will be the third meeting between RSL and the Timbers this month. The Claret-and-Cobalt is unbeaten in its first two games against Portland, downing the Timbers 2-1 in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal at Rio Tinto Stadium on Aug. 7 and scoring a 93rd minute equalizer to tie 3-3 at Portland on Aug. 21.
Real Salt Lake enters Friday’s match in first-place in both the Supporters’ Shield and Western Conference races. The Claret-and-Cobalt is four points ahead of Eastern Conference leaders Montreal Impact in the battle for the Shield and five points ahead of the rival LA Galaxy in the West.
The Claret-and-Cobalt steamrolled the Columbus Crew in its last match, getting a brace from Captain Kyle Beckerman to beat the Eastern Conference side 4-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium last Saturday. RSL’s four goals against Columbus set a new club record for goals in a single season, giving the team 48 strikes in MLS action, topping the previous club record of 46 regulr season goals set in 2012.
A win on Friday would put RSL on the precipice of both the 15-win and 50-point plateaus for the fourth consecutive season, something no other MLS club has accomplished in the post-shootout era. D.C. United’s 2005, 2006 and 2007 teams and LA’s 2010, 2011 and 2012 squads are the only other teams to have three consecutive 15-win, 50-point seasons.
Portland lost its last match, falling 1-0 at Seattle on Sunday night after Wednesday’s draw against RSL.
The Real Salt Lake Reserves will return to action on Saturday, taking on the Portland Timbers Reserves at 11:00 a.m. at America First Field. Saturday’s Reserve League contest is open to the public and admission is free.
The RSL first-team will have a two-week layoff following Friday’s match, not returning to action until Sept. 13, when it will travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on Seattle in a nationally televised game at CenturyLink Field.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Portland Timbers
- Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
- TV: NBC Sports Network
- English Radio: ESPN 700 AM (Pregame begins at 7:00 p.m. MT)
- Spanish Radio: La Gran D 102.3 FM & Juan 1600 AM
- Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide live match updates
Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL-POR Match Now Available Online
RSL History v. Portland Timbers
Real Salt Lake has a successful history against Portland, posting a 3-1-2 record in MLS play against the Cascadian side and a 4-1-2 record in all competitions against the Timbers. RSL is unbeaten against Portland at home, putting up a 2-0-1 mark against the Timbers in Utah in league play and a 3-0-1 record against Portland in all competitions at Rio Tinto Stadium.