Real Salt Lake is headed back on the road to take on a struggling Vancouver Whitecaps side who are in desperate need of a win. Both teams are currently on a winless skid: Vancouver losing their last four straight while RSL has two losses and a draw in their last three outings.
Vancouver won the last meeting between these two sides less than a month ago when they visited Rio Tinto Stadium, thanks to a late-game winner from Lucas Cavallini after RSL had gone down to 10 men. In fact, this was Vancouver’s last win, and they’ve lost every game since that night.
RSL will look to get revenge on the ‘Caps and pull themselves out of the hole they’ve found themselves in as they gear up for the push toward playoffs.
Real Salt Lake
Record: 4-6-6 (18 points)
Table: 10th place (west)
Points per game: 1.13
Most goals: Damir Kreilach (6)
Most assists: Corey Baird (4), Maikel Chang (4)
Clean sheets: 6
RSL is coming off a disheartening 2-1 loss in Seattle on Wednesday where they failed to log even one shot on frame throughout the whole 90 minutes. Their lone goal was a credit to Seattle defender Nouhou Tolo, who accidentally sent the ball into the back of his own net while trying to thwart a cross.
They came out last match with a surprising 5-3-2 lineup, with Aaron Herrera and Tate Schmitt on both flanks with Justen Glad, Erik Holt, and Nick Besler holding down the center back positions. Unfortunately this strategy didn’t seem to shore up the defense any further as they immediately gave up a goal in the first minute that was called back for offside, but Seattle responded and got their goal anyway about 25 minutes later. Sam Johnson and Corey Baird started as the attacking pair up top but just never really seemed to gel during their time together on the field.
“We’re all competitive and the team has been professional for a long time. I won’t panic and they won’t either,” said coach Freddy Juarez. “We came to Seattle and won the possession battle and kept ourselves in the game with a different formation that we probably won’t get a lot of credit for doing. But we came in tonight and put ourselves in a position to collect a point.”
It wasn’t quite good enough to collect even a point, but now they’ll look toward Vancouver with some fresh legs and hopefully a stronger lineup to get out and keep a clean sheet at the very least.
OUT: Everton Luiz (undisclosed injury), Giuseppe Rossi (undisclosed injury), Chris Garcia (undisclosed injury), Nedum Onuoha (undisclosed injury), Albert Rusnak (int’l duty)
Putna; Herrera, Glad, Silva, Toia; Ruiz, Beckerman; Chang, Kreilach, Meram; Baird
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Record: 5-11-0 (16 points)
Table: 11th place (west)
Points per game: 0.94
Most goals: Fredy Montero (3), Cristian Dajome (3)
Most assists: David Milinkovic (4), Ali Adnan (4)
Clean sheets: 2
Fresh off a 3-0 loss to San Jose, Vancouver is riding low on a four-game losing streak, being outscored by their opponents 13-1 during that stretch. Their last win, of course, came at the expense of Real Salt Lake when they pulled off that 2-1 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium.
To add even more discomfort to their losing streak, the Whitecaps are playing all their remaining home matches at Providence Park in Portland, so they don’t even get to play in the comfort of their own stadium. Sure, fans aren’t allowed either way, but this can be basically a neutral ground as RSL travels to Oregon to take on the Canadian side.
The ‘Caps gave up three second-half goals as the Earthquakes buried them in their last game as Vancouver was shown two second-half red cards as well. Both center backs Andy Rose and Erik Godoy were sent off and will be unavailable for this weekend’s match-up. They’ll also be missing their first two goalkeeping choices in Maxime Crepeau who has been out with a fractured thumb since the end of July, and Thomas Hasal who suffered a tibia stress fracture and a concussion on September 28th.
Update: The MLS Disciplinary Committee rescinded Erik Godoy’s red card, so he will be available for this weekend’s match.
In a desperate situation, the Whitecaps quickly traded a third-round pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft to the Montreal Impact in exchange for veteran MLS goalkeeper Evan Bush to help them between the posts. The 34-year-old has been in MLS since 2012 when Montreal joined the league as an expansion team, spending his entire career with the Impact until now. Bush made his first appearance for the ‘Caps in the loss to San Jose.
OUT: Maxime Crepeau (fractured thumb), Thomas Hasal (tibia stress fracture), Cristian Gutierrez (not medically cleared), Andy Rose (red card suspension)
Bush; Nerwinski, Godoy, Veslinovic, Adnan; Dajome, Owusu, Baldisimo, Teibert; Ricketts, Montero
When: Saturday, October 10, 8:00PM MT
Where: Providence Park — Portland, OR
Weather: 57 degrees, clear
Broadcast: KMYU, KSL TV app (streaming), ESPN+ (streaming), ESPN700 (radio)