Sandy, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Salt Lake attempts to maintain its unbeaten start to the season on Saturday when the club hosts Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL is one of two remaining unbeaten teams in MLS, while Vancouver owns a league-leading 13 points from its first seven games.
Salt Lake comes into Saturday's match off a 0-0 draw at Sporting Kansas City, and that result continues a strong defensive record for Jeff Cassar's team, which recorded its second successive clean sheet and third in three away games this term.
"I think it's just the mindset of the guys working together and achieving that shutout goal. We go in there with a defensive mindset and know we will get our offense from how we play defensively," said RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando. "I don't think we had too many shots, but coming out of here with a zero is good."
Cassar has to be pleased with his club defensively, but he knows that there is room for improvement when his side has the ball going forward.
Salt Lake failed to register a shot on goal against Sporting last weekend, and Cassar is hoping his side can show some improvement at home against the Whitecaps on Saturday.
"In the first half I thought we gave the ball away cheaply and too early but we had a couple of really nice sequences where we could have really gone at them maybe with a better final ball or maybe a better run on the break," Cassar said following the draw with SKC. "That's something we're going to work on this week and hopeful be better with against Vancouver."
The Whitecaps also have some to do after suffering their first defeat following a five-game unbeaten streak.
Vancouver lost 1-0 at home against the San Jose Earthquakes to a 75th-minute goal from Sanna Nyassi, marking the first time the Whitecaps have been held without a goal this season.
Not only did Carl Robinson's team fail to score, but Vancouver failed to even put a shot on goal, and the boss is ready for his team to offer up a response on Saturday and move on from that disappointing outing.
"I thought we were way below the levels that I expect and the players expect," said Robinson. "We didn't get a shot on target, we didn't have enough of the ball, we didn't pass well enough. We looked flat. And this game was always a concern for me, being the third game in a week. We weren't at the races. I'll take responsibility for that, and we move on."
One player who won't be available to Robinson on Saturday is creative midfielder Pedro Morales, who was sent off late in the loss to San Jose.
Morales has tallied three assists this season and his absence will be felt in the final third as Vancouver attempts to claim its first-ever win at Real Salt Lake in seven meetings.