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Match preview: RSL looks for revenge in Minnesota

Real Salt Lake travels to Minnesota looking to avenge the 4-0 loss they suffered there three weeks ago.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Minnesota United FC Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake heads back to Minnesota this week, just three weeks after the Loons embarrassed the visitors with a 4-0 steamrolling. RSL, fresh off a 2-0 midweek win over western conference foes LA Galaxy, will hope to flip the tables this time and keep the momentum going.

Since the teams last met, the Loons have only won once and lost their three other outings, while RSL notched two wins in a clean sweep over both Los Angeles teams, beating LAFC 3-0 and the Galaxy 2-0. On the other hand, the other two games they played saw them annihilated by the Colorado Rapids by a score of 5-0, followed by a 2-1 loss at home to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

RSL has only beat Minnesota once in their seven-game history, and that came in the form of a 1-0 win in 2017. Aside from that, Minnesota has won four and the other two games each ended in a 1-1 draw.

Real Salt Lake

Record: 4-4-5 (17 points)
Table: 8th place (west)
Points per game: 1.31
Most goals: Damir Kreilach (6)
Most assists: Corey Baird (4), Maikel Chang (4)
Clean sheets: 5
Form: LWLLW

MLS: LA Galaxy at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

After an impressive second-half performance earlier in the week against the LA Galaxy, RSL will hope to continue that level of play as they head to take on Minnesota this Sunday. Certainly they’ll want to avoid another loss altogether, but even more so by a large margin like the recent 4-0 and 5-0 losses to Minnesota and Colorado. RSL has had moments of brilliance, but also moments of despair as they’ve had a completely up-and-down ride over the last few weeks.

Damir Kreilach has continued to excel in the attack, scoring another goal against the Galaxy after a fantastic ground pass from Albert Rusnak to drive the nail in the coffin against LA.

RSL will be without two options in Giuseppe Rossi and Sam Johnson, who, according to the MLS injury report, are not medically cleared to play. Neither player has seen significant minutes recently — aside from the last time RSL visited Minnesota when Rossi got the start and went 77 minutes. We can most likely expect to see a similar lineup to what we saw last Wednesday, with Kreilach at the top of the attack, and some combination of Rusnak, Meram, Baird, and/or Chang.

Absences

OUT: Giuseppe Rossi (not medically cleared), Sam Johnson (not medically cleared)

Projected Lineup

Putna; Herrera, Glad, Onuoha, Toia; Ruiz, Everton; Baird, Rusnak, Meram; Kreilach

Minnesota United

Record: 5-5-3 (18 points)
Table: 7th place (west)
Points per game: 1.38
Most goals: Kevin Molino (6)
Most assists: Jan Gregus (6)
Clean sheets: 2
Form: WWLDL

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Loons picked up a new striker last week in Kei Kamara, who was traded from Colorado and jumped right into the lineup and played 77 minutes in Minnesota’s 2-1 loss to Columbus earlier in the week. Kamara spent nearly two seasons with the Rapids, notching 17 goals in 38 games while adding two assists. This comes at an opportune time for Minnesota as they’re looking to bolster their attack for the final half of the season.

Minnesota has been plagued with injuries, including stalwarts like Osvaldo Alonso, Ike Opara, Ethan Finlay, and Tyler Miller who have all missed significant time. Luckily the road ahead isn’t too scary for them, as they’ll go on to play Cincinnati and Nashville after they host RSL.

The Loons will look to grab their third home win of the season — and their fifth win overall — as RSL visits, hoping to conjure more of the magic that saw them cruise to a 4-0 victory just three weeks ago over the visitors.

Absences

OUT: Tyler Miller (hip, out for season), Ike Opara (not medically cleared), Osvaldo Alonso (hamstring), Ethan Finlay (knee), Luis Amarilla (ankle), Greg Ranjitsingh (not medically cleared)

Projected Lineup

St. Clair; Metanire, Aja, Boxall, Gasper; Dotson, Hayes; Lod, Reynoso, Chacon; Kamara


Match info

When: Sunday, September 27, 2020, 6:00PM MT

Where: Allianz Field — Saint Paul, MN

Weather: 63 degrees, cloudy

Broadcast: KMYU, KSL TV app (streaming), ESPN+ (streaming), ESPN700 (radio)