Categorized | Also Noted

Real Salt Lake seeks to snap Dallas streak

Posted on 16 July 2010 by kali

Real Salt Lake looks to check another mark off its list on Saturday when the team visits FC Dallas in a key Western Conference matchup.

After eking out a historic win at Chicago last week, RSL will be seeking its first-ever road result in the series between the two sides.  Surprisingly, Real has never earned so much as a single point in Dallas, scoring only five goals in as many matches.

Given that Real is riding a 10-game unbeaten streak, it seems as though Saturday would be a perfect time to snap that losing streak in Dallas.  The Hoops are on a tear of their own, though, having gone unbeaten in their last five matches and suffering just one defeat since the middle of April.

Not only is each team’s streak on the line, but the result of the match could potentially have tremendous consequences for the Western Conference standings.  RSL is currently in second place, trailing the LA Galaxy by six points with a game in hand, while Dallas is currently tied for third along with San Jose and Colorado.

Adding to the pressure is the degree of familiarity that the two teams have with each other.  Real head coach Jason Kreis was a marquee player for Dallas before moving to Salt Lake in 2005, and current Hoops Jeff Cunningham and Atiba Harris both had stints with RSL earlier in their careers.

Earning a win at Pizza Hut Park would be especially sweet for Kreis.  “It’s a big one for me – I’ll be honest,” he remarked on the league’s official website.  “I have feelings about that club – I had been there so long. And every time I go back there’s a little bit extra on the line.”

To that end, Kreis has been preparing his team for the difficult conditions that a July match in Dallas brings, giving the team extra time off in order to be ready to deal with the heat and humidity.  Midfielder Andy Williams described the conditions to the Deseret News, stating, “The humidity there is unlike any other, and it’s pretty difficult, especially the last 20 minutes is when you’re all gasped for air.”

Kyle Beckerman (foot) and Nelson González (hamstring) remain questionable as they continue to recover from their long-term injuries.  In addition, Jamison Olave (knee), Robbie Russell (shoulder), and Alvaro Saborio (knee) have minor injuries but are considered probable for Saturday’s match; however, those issues could clear the way for the likes of Tony Beltran and Fabian Espindola to return to the starting lineup this week.

Meanwhile, Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman has nearly a full roster of players available.  The Hoops’ only injury listed is that of goalkeeper Dario Sala, who is out with a calf strain.

The match will kick off at 7:30 local time (6:30 pm MT) and can be seen in Utah on KUSG 2.2/Comcast 111.

In other RSL news:

  • Javier Morales, Olave, and Beckerman were all named to the MLS All-Star First XI that will take on Manchester United in Houston on July 28; however, Beckerman currently plans to skip the match in order to continue his recovery.
  • RSL finalized an extended loan deal that will keep González with the team through the end of the 2011 MLS season; González will remain on the roster as an international player throughout the loan.
  • The club recalled goalkeeper Tim Melia from the Charleston Battery and sent Kyle Reynish out in Melia’s place in an attempt to get Reynish more minutes before Real starts CONCACAF Champions League play.

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