Fresh off suffering the worst home loss in club history, Real Salt Lake enters Saturday's match in Sandy, Utah with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC desperate to regain some semblance of positive momentum.
Real Salt Lake (3-3-5, 14 points) suffered a complete meltdown in a 5-0 loss to Colorado last weekend. RSL entered the loss column at home for the first time in 2020 after getting dominated on both ends of the pitch over 90 minutes. The Rapids pressed the attack and made their Rocky Mountain Cup rivals pay for putting forth a lackadaisical effort.
Colorado scored twice in the first 10 minutes -- both goals coming from Diego Rubio. Salt Lake never recovered from the slow start. The loss proved costly, dropping RSL into ninth place in the Western Conference and below the cut line for the last playoff spot for now.
"Horrible game plan by me. I didn't have the guys prepared," RSL head coach Freddy Juarez said. "We started off poor and could never recover."
Vancouver (4-7-0, 12 points) kept its own hopes for a playoff berth alive with a 3-1 victory over the Montreal Impact on Wednesday. The Whitecaps have won two of their last three matches.
Montreal played with 10 men for the final 63 minutes of the match after Rudy Camacho was sent off with a red card in the 37th minute. Fredy Montero put Vancouver on the board with his subsequent penalty kick and Cristian Dajome added a second goal that proved to be the eventual game-winner in the 44th minute.
The Whitecaps have finally found the right on-the-field combinations to help facilitate their climb out of the Western Conference cellar.
"Some of the guys have just been answering in a regular and consistent way in training and that's the answers we need to be confident to say this is the right mix, this is the right build," Vancouver coach Marc Dos Santos said.
Salt Lake has won four straight home matches in the series and is 7-1-3 all-time at Rio Tinto Stadium against Vancouver.
--Field Level Media