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Who is Real Salt Lake’s nemesis

More number crunching shows what teams Real Salt Lake has done best and worst against.

Manchester United v Real Salt Lake Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

Have you ever wondered what MLS teams we should really hate to play? And which teams we have tended to always do well against? Here’s a rundown and the raw data.

Since there are a number of newer teams in the league, and as we only play Eastern Conference teams once a year now; the totals for those teams are skewed. So don’t read too much into those results until we have more games against them. All these totals also include both US Open Cup and Playoff games.

Atlanta United (0-2-0 GD-4)

We’ve only had 2 games against the new MLS Cup winners; and both were losses. At present they could be considered our bogeymen; but time will tell if that continues.

Chicago Fire (7-7-8 GD -5)

RSL has had 22 games vs the Fire, and most of them have been draws. Our goal differential currently stands at -5 vs them with 20 goals for and 25 against.

Chivas USA (14-12-5 GD +5)

Early on, Chivas had our number. But that changed as we got better and they got worse; before they closed down we played 31 games vs our expansion year companions; with 45.16% seeing RSL as the winning team.

Colorado Rapids (19-14-11 GD +19)

We’ve had 44 games vs our Rocky Mountain Cup rivals with a 43.18% win ratio and a massive +19 GD. Doesn’t really feel much like a rivalry does it? The home team does tend to win most of the games, but RSL has won 6 times in Colorado to their 4 here.

Columbus Crew (8-12-5 GD -2)

Out of 25 games, we’ve won 32% of them - mostly at home. We did manage 2 wins on the road, but they beat us 3 times in Utah.

D.C. United (9-9-5 GD -2)

If it wasn’t for the negative goal differential it’d be an even match up.

FC Dallas (11-22-8 GD -19)

I think we’ve found our bugbear. The long-running Texas curse shows clearly here with 16 losses on the road. To this day we’ve only won once in Dallas. Our win record is a feeble 26.83%.

Houston Dynamo (10-12-6 GD +1)

The Texas curse is a little better here since we’ve now managed 3 wins in Houston. RSL is still managing a 35.71% win ratio against the Dynamo.

Los Angeles FC (1-2-0 GD -5)

With only 3 games against the new Angelinos, it’s another case of time will tell.

L.A. Galaxy (16-19-10 GD -1)

We have played the Galaxy more than any other team thanks to several playoff matches. A total of 46 games with 34.78% of them wins for us - including 7 of them in LA, which just happens to be where we’ve won more road games than anywhere else.

Minnesota United (1-2-1 GD -2)

For a newer team we haven’t done very well against them so far. RSL should be doing better against them. Note that this does not include the loss we had to them in USOC when they were still in the USL. That would make the record 1-3-1.

Montreal Impact (2-3-2 GD -3)

Our Canadian nemesis so far, but with a huge caveat. Both wins have come at home, and all losses on the road. Neither team has ever won a road game.

New England Revolution (10-6-5 GD +8)

21 games in the books and RSL has won 47.62% of them including 4 of them on the road. RSL just seems to do pretty well against the Revolution.

New York City FC (3-1-0 GD 0)

Another team with not quite enough data to be sure, but we’ve managed pretty well against the pigeons so far. 75% win ratio!

New York Red Bulls (7-6-9 GD 0)

22 games in all and it’s a pretty even match. Both sides have won once in the other’s home; and most of the games have been draws. You probably wouldn’t figure that we’re closely matched to a big market team.

Orlando City (0-2-2 GD -3)

Only 4 games in the books and like Minnesota, it feels like RSL should be doing better against them. So far we’re on the losing end.

Philadelphia Union (4-1-6 GD +3)

After 11 games, Philly has only one win against RSL. If it wasn’t for the 6 ties and the fact that we only play them once a year; we would probably be their biggest cross-conference ogre.

Portland Timbers (11-7-7 GD +6)

We’ve had Portland’s number for quite some time, but they’re closing the gap now. 44% of the games have been wins for us which tops the ratio vs Colorado.

San Jose Earthquakes (10-10-12 GD +6)

It seems like we’ve always done well vs the Quakes, but the numbers show a bit differently. Just like the ‘energy drinks’ we’re pretty evenly matched. 5 wins at home and 5 on the road to their 7 at home and 3 on the road.

Seattle Sounders (12-11-6 GD 0)

We’ve now had 29 games vs the Sounders and managed fairly well. Edging them out 41.38% of the time, we’ve had 3 wins on their fake grass, to their 2 in the RioT.

Sporting Kansas City (11-12-10 GD -4)

Is SKC our true rival? It’s fairly close match by the numbers. We’ve won a third of the total games, they’ve managed barely more. Both have won 8 at home, but they’ve got one more away win. If we’d only done a bit better that last game in November...

Toronto FC (9-5-4 GD +11)

Cue the music. TFC really can’t look forward to our games. We’ve won 50% of the matches against them with a +11 goal differential. Each team has won once on the road (their only win here was their first ever visit back in 2007), but 3 of the 4 ties have been in their stadium.

Vancouver Whitecaps (7-9-4 GD -5)

We’ve had our ups and downs vs the ‘caps, both have each won once in the other’s stadium, but their 8 wins on fake grass have proven the difference (including one with a bogus hand-ball call on Nat Borchers!)

So to summarize; excluding the newest teams, FC Dallas continues to be our nemesis due to the long-running Texas curse. We’ve been pretty consistent vs Toronto, New England and the Timbers; and we’ve scored most against our RMC rivals Colorado. We’re pretty evenly matched against quite a few teams including some big-spenders you may not have expected.

What games are you looking forward to in 2019?