Vancouver, BC – Real Salt Lake hits the road again on Saturday when the club travels to BC Place to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC in a game between teams in need of a win.
RSL will be playing its fifth road game in seven matches to start the season on Saturday, and with just one win from its last five games, the Claret and Cobalt would love three points to take back home.
Salt Lake will play its next three games at Rio Tinto Stadium in the coming weeks, and head coach Jason Kreis knew from the start of the season that this early stretch would not be easy.
"I think we identified before the season started this was going to be a very, very difficult beginning of the season, the most difficult that I can remember," Kreis said. "I don't know that we've ever gone through our first seven games with five away. It's been difficult, no doubt about it. I still think there's more, though. I don't want to make that as any type of excuse. I think there were points that we left on the table through the first six games, but it is what it is. I think we just have to be focused on being better in our next one."
Injury problems haven't helped the cause for RSL, and the club will be without midfielders Sebastian Velasquez and Cole Grossman, while a host of other players are question marks with injury issues of their own, including Robbie Findley, Alvaro Saborio, Joao Plata, Javier Morales, David Viana, Khari Stephenson, Chris Wingert, Rich Balchan and Carlos Salcedo.
But despite the injuries and lack of home matches so far this season, RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando has remained positive.
"I think we are doing enough, but it could be better and the results could be better," Rimando said. "On the road, you try to get as many results as you can, but it is a tough start for us to be on the road so many games. But we are dealing with it and I think we are doing OK."
Vancouver would love to heap more misery on Salt Lake, and in the process, snap a three-match winless run.
After claiming wins in their first two games, the 'Caps took just one point from a three-match road trip and will be happy to be returning home to the confines of BC Place.
Vancouver has beaten RSL in both meetings between the teams at BC Place, but the home side will not only be without captain Jay DeMerit, who is recovering from a long-term injury, but also could miss forward Kenny Miller, who sat out last week's 1-1 draw with San Jose.