Preview: RSL at Sporting Kansas City
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will return to the site of MLS Cup 2013 on Saturday, taking on Sporting Kansas City in a MLS Cup rematch at Sporting Park. Saturday’s match will kick at 6:30 p.m. MT and will be broadcast locally on ABC 4, ESPN 700 and 102.3 La Gran D FM.
Real Salt Lake enters Saturday’s clash with a 2-0-2 record and eight points from its first four MLS regular season games. RSL defeated Toronto FC 3-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium last Saturday for the club’s first home win of the 2014 season. Claret-and-Cobalt FW Alvaro Saborio notched a brace, converting a penalty kick in the first half and scoring in the 55th minute to give the Costa Rican international three goals in two matches. RSL MF Luis Gil scored the Claret-and-Cobalt’s second goal in the 28th minute, for his first goal of the 2014 campaign.
Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City last met in MLS Cup on Dec. 7, 2013, with the Claret-and-Cobalt suffering a heartbreaking loss in a penalty kick shootout at Sporting Park. Saborio put the Claret-and-Cobalt on top in the 52nd minute, firing a 20-yard half volley home past then Sporting Kansas City GK Jimmy Nielsen. Sporting equalized in the 76th minute, when DF Aurelien Collin buried a FW Graham Zusi corner kick from 10 yards out.
After regulation and extra time left the sides tied at 1-1, the teams entered a penalty kick shootout. The sides traded goals and misses until the 10th round, when Collin buried his penalty for SKC before former RSL DF Lovel Palmer sent his spot kick off the crossbar to give SKC the shootout by a 7-6 margin.
Real Salt Lake has only won once in Kansas City, a 1-0 over the then-Wizards on Aug. 29, 2009. The clubs have faced off a total of nine times in KC, with RSL posting a 1-5-3 road record at Sporting. Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City met once in the 2013 regular season, a heated 2-1 loss at Rio Tinto Stadium. The match saw a total of six yellow cards – four given to RSL – and resulted in the sending off of DF Chris Wingert in the 66th minute. RSL has a 5-8-3 MLS regular season record and a 6-8-4 record across all competitions against Kansas City.
The two sides will look relatively similar to when they met in MLS Cup, with both teams making minimal offseason changes. Sporting Kansas City’s biggest departure was Nielsen, who retired in the offseason. RSL’s offseason saw the departure of MF Yordany Alvarez to USL Pro side Orlando City Soccer Club and Palmer to Chicago Fire. The Claret-and-Cobalt added English MF Luke Mulholland, Homegrown Player MF Jordan Allen and 2014 MLS SuperDraft pick MF Joey Dillon.
Real Salt Lake will look to have a few players back from injury this week. RSL DF Aaron Maund (hamstring), MF Sebastian Velasquez (hamstring) and MF Jordan Allen (ankle) have missed recent games due to early season injuries but could be available for selection this Saturday. RSL FW Joao Plata – who suffered a hamstring strain in the Claret-and-Cobalt home opener against LA Galaxy – and DF Chris Wingert – who suffered a groin injury against Toronto – will likely still be out.
Real Salt Lake return to Utah on Sunday following Saturday’s MLS Cup 2013 rematch. The Claret-and-Cobalt will spend a few days on the Wasatch Front before heading to the East Coast for a date at Philadelphia Union next Saturday, April 12. RSL won’t return home until Saturday, April 19, when it will host Portland Timbers in a rematch of the 2013 Western Conference Final. Tickets to the Portland match can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake at Sporting Kansas City
- Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. MT at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas
- TV: ABC 4
- English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame begins at 5:30 p.m. MT)
- Spanish Radio: 102.3 La Gran D FM
- Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide match updates
Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL at SKC Match Now Available Online
RSL History v. Sporting Kansas City
Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City last met in MLS Cup on Dec. 7, 2013 at Sporting Park. The Claret-and-Cobalt fell to the home side in a penalty kick shootout by a 7-6 margin.
Real Salt Lake has only won once in Kansas City, a 1-0 over the then-Wizards on Aug. 29, 2009. The clubs have faced off a total of nine times in KC, with RSL posting a 1-5-3 road record at Sporting. Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City met once in the 2013 regular season, a 2-1 loss at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL has a 5-8-3 MLS regular season record and a 6-8-4 record across all competitions against Kansas City.