Sandy, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of clubs looking for their first win of the 2015 season will clash on Saturday when Real Salt Lake welcomes the Philadelphia Union to Rio Tinto Stadium.
Philadelphia made some important acquisitions in the offseason in striker Fernando Aristeguieta, defender Steven Vitoria and midfielder/forward Dzenen Catic hoping to make the jump into the postseason.
The Union had the better of the play against the Colorado Rapids in their season opener last week, but couldn't breakdown a tough Colorado defense and settled for a scoreless draw.
Chances were few and far between in the first half, but Philadelphia had the first good chance in the 53rd minute as Cristian Maidana had a go from the top of the box. The ball took a deflection and just missed the left post.
Colorado then went down to 10 men in the 68th minute when defender Bobby Burling pulled down Union forward Sebastien Le Toux from behind and was shown his second yellow card.
Playing with the extra man, Philadelphia's best chance came four minutes from time as Maidana whipped a free kick to the near post where Conor Casey got his head to it, but Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin came up with an excellent reaction save.
"I'm happy with the group in terms of defense," Union head coach Jim Curtin said. "I thought we were solid. We didn't give up many chances. We created enough chances to get three points today."
The Union will also be a bit shorthanded in the attack as newly-acquired C.J. Sapong will be unavailable after suffering a concussion and a zygomatic fracture suffered during the season-opener against Colorado.
Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, hoped to gets it season off to a winning start against the rival Portland Timbers last week, but were also held to a scoreless draw.
RSL kept almost 60 percent of possession, but did little with it as they took their point away from home. They used a strong defensive effort, blocking nine shots, while goalkeeper Nick Rimando made five saves, to keep a potent Portland attack off the score sheet.
"The biggest takeaway was, defensively, we were all on the same page. I thought the fight, the commitment, the passion was off the charts defensively," RSL head coach Jeff Cassar said. "Can we get better offensively? Absolutely. But this is not an easy place to play. The turf gets slick, things happen quick and I thought our focus was very good on the defensive end."
The Union have never beaten Real Salt Lake in seven all-time meetings between the clubs. The teams last met at PPL Park last season where Maurice Edu netted a late equalizer to salvage a point in a 2-2 draw.