MLS Preview: Real Salt Lake - Columbus Crew
The 2008 and 2009 MLS Cup winners clash in Salt Lake on Saturday. The Crew has won eight of its 13 league meetings with RSL.
By Zac Lee Rigg
Real Salt Lake (4-4-2): Rimando; Russell, Borchers, Schuler, Beltran; Grabavoy, Williams, Beckerman, Williams; Espindola, Alvarez.
OUT: MF Javier Morales (L ankle fracture dislocation)
DOUBTFUL: FW Paulo Jr. (L hamstring strain)
QUESTIONABLE: FW Álvaro Saborío (R ankle sprain)
PROBABLE: MF Jean Alexandre (R knee pain), MF Nelson González (R foot contusion)
Columbus Crew (4-4-2): Gruenebaum; Miranda, Marshall, James, Gardner; Gaven, Ekpo, Rusmir, Rogers; Heinemann, Renteria.
OUT: MF Tony Tchani (R knee inflammation); DF Josh Williams (R hip labral tear); MF Dilly Duka (R ankle sprain)
DOUBTFUL: GK William Hesmer (L quad strain); GK Alex Riggs (R oblique strain); MF Rich Balchan (L adductor strain)
QUESTIONABLE: FW Andres Mendoza (L hamstring strain); FW Jeff Cunningham (R knee inflammation)
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Together these teams have won two of the last three MLS Cups and two of the last three Supporters' Shields.
- Despite playing three fewer games, Salt Lake (33) has two more points than Columbus (31). RSL is fourth in the West, whereas the Crew has snuck up to joint-first in the East.
- Columbus holds a 8-4-1 record over RSL, including a 2-1 win at Crew Stadium earlier in the season. Andres Mendoza notched a goal and an assist in that match. The Peruvian Designated Player has seven goals on the season, six of which have come in the last 10 games, though Mendoza left the July 20 loss to the LA Galaxy in the fourth minute with a hamstring injury and will likely be unavailable.
- With Will Hesmer set to miss out with a quad strain, backup net-minder Andy Gruenebaum should start for the second weekend in a row. Prior to anchoring his side's 1-0 win over Portland, Gruenebaum hadn't played an MLS game since Aug. 30, 2009.
- Jamison Olave picked up a knee injury in the All-Star Game which should rule him out of action for at least two weeks. Chris Schuler will likely step into his central defensive role.
- Real Salt Lake is riding a seven-game unbeaten streak, most recently capped with a 4-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes. Alvaro Saborio kicked off that rout with a penalty, though the MLS Disciplinary Commission, never a body to rush into decisions and further delayed by the All-Star Game, may yet suspend the Costa Rican striker for the dive which led to the PK.
Top 3 Predictions
Real Salt Lake 2-0 Columbus Crew
- 38.89 %
Real Salt Lake 3-0 Columbus Crew
- 16.67 %
Real Salt Lake 3-1 Columbus Crew
- 11.11 %
|USA - Major League Soccer (MLS)||Aug 24, 2013||Real Salt Lake 4 - Columbus Crew 0|
|USA - Major League Soccer (MLS)||Jun 30, 2012||Columbus Crew 2 - Real Salt Lake 0|
|USA - Major League Soccer (MLS)||Jul 30, 2011||Real Salt Lake 0 - Columbus Crew 2|
|USA - Major League Soccer (MLS)||Jun 8, 2011||Columbus Crew 2 - Real Salt Lake 1|
|CCL (CCL)||Mar 1, 2011||Real Salt Lake 4 - Columbus Crew 1|
|Real Salt Lake|
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|Dec 7, 2013||Sporting Kansas City 1 - Real Salt Lake 1||MLS|
|Nov 24, 2013||Portland Timbers 0 - Real Salt Lake 1||MLS|
|Nov 10, 2013||Real Salt Lake 4 - Portland Timbers 2||MLS|
|Nov 7, 2013||Real Salt Lake 2 - Los Angeles Galaxy 0||MLS|