MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Real Salt Lake (15-11-4) at Chivas USA (7-15-7), 10:30 p.m.
Carson, CA (Sports Network) - After clinching its fifth successive playoff
berth last weekend, Real Salt Lake heads to The Home Depot Center to take on
Chivas USA on Saturday in an effort to improve its postseason position.
Salt Lake enters the weekend level on 49 points with the Los Angeles Galaxy
for second place in the Western Conference, and is only one point clear of
So with four games remaining, it will be important for RSL to finish strong
and secure a place in the top three, thus avoiding the wild-card round in this
The 2-1 win over Portland last time out not only booked a place in the
postseason for Salt Lake, but it was also important because the club got goals
from both Fabian Espindola and Javier Morales.
With leading scorer Alvaro Saborio sidelined because of a shoulder injury,
many wondered who would step forward to help fill the void.
And against the Timbers, Espindola snapped a 14-game goal drought, while
Morales found the net for the first time in 12 matches.
"I think it was important that we got goals from Fabian Espindola and Javier
Morales," head coach Jason Kreis said. "They were big-time plays from big-time
It was the first time in six matches that RSL has scored more than one goal in
a single game, and Kreis thinks that Espindola, in particular, will benefit
from snapping his goal drought.
"It's a step in the right direction," said Kreis of getting Espindola back on
track. "I think that his confidence should improve from here on out."
Saturday's match will be important for Kreis and his team because the schedule
gets much tougher the next few weeks, with road games against both Los Angeles
and Seattle before closing the season at home against a Vancouver side still
battling for a playoff spot.
Anything less than three points against Chivas will be disappointing, and
could leave the club in danger of dropping out of the top three.
Chivas enters the contest on the bottom of the West and would rather forget
the month of September, having lost all five of its games with just one goal
The last win for the Goats came July 28 at Portland, and RSL has no intention
of helping Chivas snap that streak.
09/28 18:19:10 ET