Whitecaps (6-2-5, 20 pts.) started with a strong opening set of games and have since struggled, while RSL (4-5-4, 17 pts.) have been jumping around between results searching for consistency
Vancouver Whitecaps started the season well, winning four of their first five matches. Since then, they've only won two of eight matches — wins over Philadelphia Union and — you guessed it — Real Salt Lake. During that time, they've also had two draws and four losses. Last five: LDWLL
Real Salt Lake, on the other hand, have yet to put together any sort of run of wins. After two wins and three draws in their first five matches, RSL have two wins and two draws in their last eight. Last five: DWLWL
Vancouver Whitecaps have a collection of players potentially out with injury. Both Andre Lewis and Marco Bustos are listed as out for the match, while Sam Adekugbe, Diego Rodriguez, Robert Earnshaw and Erik Hurtado are apparently in doubt.
Real Salt Lake is in better shape than ever, with only Chris Schuler a guaranteed absence due to injury. Sebastian Jaime traveled to the match (his second consecutive match he's traveled to) and could make his return from injury as well.
Vancouver Whitecaps have no suspensions to deal with, but Gershon Koffie and Pa Modou Kah, both likely to start, are one caution away from a suspension. That could potentially promote a sense of caution from either of those players.
Real Salt Lake have a suspension for Jamison Olave with which to contend, which doesn't mean much — he was apparently not going to play on Vancouver's turf. Additionally, Kyle Beckerman is one caution away from suspension, and with the next match against Colorado Rapids, he isn't likely to want to miss it.
Last time out
Real Salt Lake lost 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps at Rio Tinto in a match that featured a red card from promising youngster Sebastian Saucedo. Shortly thereafter, RSL conceded a late goal from Darren Mattocks, leaving everyone with a sour taste in their mouth. It was the RSL's first loss of the season.
Predicted RSL lineup
Rimando; Beltran, Maund, Vasquez, Mansally; Beckerman; Stertzer, Morales, Mulholland; Sandoval, Saborio
RSL lineup question marks
Defense: Abdoulie Mansally or Demar Phillips? After playing well in the last match, Mansally is probably in the driver's seat once again, especially with Phillips injury status being a relative unknown at this point.
Midfield: Does Luis Gil get the start again after another disappointing showing? Is Javier Morales ready to start, even if the match is on turf?
Forwards: Is Joao Plata ready for his first start of 2015? Or is he going to play another substitute role as he searches for his return from injury? Does Sebastian Jaime get a start as he looks to prove himself? Are we going to see Devon Sandoval and Alvaro Saborio togehter again? So many questions, so little time.