Preview: RSL v. Toronto FC

RSL set for revamped TOR in big-time battle at Rio Tinto Stadium

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will look to keep its unbeaten record intact on Saturday, when it will host Canadian side Toronto FC at 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Saturday’s match will be broadcast locally on ABC 4 and ESPN 700 AM. ABC 4’s pregame coverage will begin at 7:00 p.m. MT. ESPN700 will begin its pregame coverage at 6:30 p.m. MT and will air an hour-long postgame show starting immediately following the final whistle. Tickets are still available to Saturday’s match 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.

Real Salt Lake has had a strong start to the 2014 campaign, earning a total of five points from its first three matches. Real Salt Lake drew its last match, tying LA Galaxy 1-1 in front of a sold out crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium in the Claret-and-Cobalt’s home opener last Saturday. RSL FW Alvaro Saborio opened up his 2014 account in the match, scoring the opener in the 19th minute. RSL FW Joao Plata assisted on the goal, giving him two goals and two assists this year. The Ecuadorian left last weekend’s game due to a left hamstring strain and won’t be available for this weekend’s clash against Toronto.

Toronto FC made several big splashes in the offseason, signing American international MF Michael Bradley, English international FW Jermain Defoe, Brazilian international GK Julio Cesar and Designated Player FW Gilberto. With its revamped lineup, the Canadian side has had a perfect start to the 2014 season, posting a 2-0-0 record. Toronto FC defeated Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 in its 2014 season opener at CenturyLink Field on March 15, getting a brace from Defoe in his MLS debut. TFC opened its 2014 home slate last Saturday, getting another goal from Defoe to notch a 1-0 win over D.C. United.

Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC met once in 2013, with the Claret-and-Cobalt beating TFC 1-0 at BMO Field on June 29, 2013. The match marked RSL’s first-ever win in Canada, with RSL previously winless in 10 matches across all competitions north of the border. The Claret-and-Cobalt has fared much better against Toronto in Utah, posting a 5-1-0 record in six regular season home matches against TFC. RSL narrowly beat Toronto 3-2 the last time the clubs met at Rio Tinto Stadium, getting a stoppage time winner from former RSL MF Jonny Steele to top TFC on April 28, 2012. The Claret-and-Cobalt is 6-4-2 against Toronto in MLS action all-time.

Real Salt Lake is likely to be missing a few players on Saturday due to injury. RSL FW Joao Plata injured his hamstring in the Claret-and-Cobalt’s home opener against LA Galaxy and is out. RSL DF Aaron Maund and RSL MF Sebastian Velasquez are will also miss the match due to similar hamstring injuries, and FW Robbie Findley is unavailable while recovering from offseason surgery. RSL FW Devon Sandoval could make a return to the lineup this Saturday. The bruising forward has been recovering from a foot injury suffered in preseason and could make his season debut this weekend.

RSL will follow up Saturday’s tilt with Toronto next Saturday, April 5, when it gets back on the road to face Sporting Kansas City in a 2013 MLS Cup rematch at 6:30 p.m. MT at Sporting Park. The match will be broadcast locally on ABC 4 and ESPN 700 AM.

How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Toronto FC

  • Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
  • TV: ABC 4
  • English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame begins at 6:30 p.m. MT)
  • Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide match updates

Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL-TOR Match Now Available Online

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

RSL History v. Toronto FC

Real Salt Lake is 6-4-2 against Toronto FC in MLS action. The Claret-and-Cobalt won the mast meeting between the sides, recording a 1-0 win at BMO Field on June 29, 2013. The match marked RSL’s first-ever win in Canada, with RSL previously winless in 10 matches across all competitions north of the border.

The Claret-and-Cobalt has fared well against Toronto in Utah, posting a 5-1-0 home record against the Canadian side.