RSL Family: Struggling RSL vs. soaring Philly; Monarchs look to maintain streak; RSLW hoping for first win
It’s the second week with all three RSL teams in action. Here’s what each team has coming up this week.
Real Salt Lake vs. Philadelphia Union, 5/27 6pm
The Union are coming in hot to the RioT looking to extend their four-match winning streak that has seen them outscore opponents 11-1.
RSL fans, and the team’s defenders, will be keeping a sharp eye on CJ Sapong, hoping to keep him from adding to his team-high 8 goals.
Real Monarchs at Vancouver Whitecaps 2, 5/28 4pm
Our second side takes their five-match win streak to Vancouver for a Sunday matchup against Whitecaps 2. The Monarchs will be aiming for consistency in performing at the high standard that has become the new normal for the developmental squad.
There’s a lot to be excited about with this team, but most fans will be waiting for Chandler Hoffman and Sebastian Velasquez to get into another scoring duel. When they find the back of the net, good things happen for the Monarchs.
RSL Women vs. Calgary Foothills WFC, 5/26 7pm
The ladies in Claret-and-Cobalt look to bounce back from a disappointing UWS opener as they face off against another club that is new to their league. This is Calgary’s first match of the year, and they’ll be hoping to catch the hosts off guard and steal early points on the road.
RSLW was held off the score sheet last week, but they have several players in the attack who can break out with goals at any time. This will be their one home match played on an artificial surface, so the pace of the match should be high as the ball will roll fast on the turf.
Other matches of importance
Seattle vs. Portland, 5/27 12pm
Cascadia Cup matches are always a big deal, and the Timbers go to CenturyLink with a chance to take an early lead in the annual Pacific Northwest competition. With Portland’s solid play thus far and Seattle’s absent offense, don’t be surprised if the visitors take three points back down I-5.
NYRB vs. New England, 5/27 5pm
Another matchup of teams hovering on either side of the playoff red line, the Revs will be challenged to get a result in Red Bull Arena, though their chances might be decent considering that NYRB currently has a negative goal differential. All three outcomes could be equally possible by the end of 90 minutes.
Rapids vs. SKC, 5/27 6pm
A true dilemma for RSL supporters, as our geographic rival faces off against our mortal enemies in a first-vs-last matchup. Choosing a winner is not a pleasant thought either way, as seeing the Rapids lose and remain in last place is always sweet, but a Sporting win keeps them ahead of Houston. A scoreless draw might be the best we can hope for on this one.
San Antonio FC at Swope Park Rangers, 5/26 6:30pm
Monarchs fans will be hoping for a positive result out of this match, as San Antonio is the only USL club with more points than the on-fire team from Salt Lake. First place is within reach if things roll the right direction for the Monarchs this weekend.
Houston Dash vs. Seattle Reign, 5/27 2pm
The Dash, who are captained by Utah native Kealia Ohai, are looking to turn their season in a positive direction with a third win and revenge for the 5-1 loss they suffered in Seattle in April. Playing in Houston definitely gives the Dash an advantage, much as it does for the Dynamo in MLS.
North Carolina Courage at Chicago Red Stars, 5/27 2pm
Another Utah connection plays this weekend as the first place Courage, with BYU alum Ashley Hatch, take on Christen Press, Julie Ertz (nee Johnston), and the Red Stars. Chicago claimed a 3-1 away win last week, so North Carolina will want to return the favor.
So Cal Crush FC vs. Santa Clarita Blue Heat, 5/26 7pm
Week 1’s surprise winners Crush FC host their first match in California against last year’s champion Santa Clarita. The Blue heat are much improved, which is saying a lot considering their impressive play in 2016. The addition of 18-year-old Venezuelan forward Deyna Castellanos (4 caps), and 33-year-old former Canadian WNT defender Lauren Sesselmann (46 caps), show that this second-tier club isn’t taking things lightly as they hope to repeat as UWS title holders. So Cal has their work cut out to match the high of sneaking a win against RSL last week.