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RSL returns to Salt Lake, hopes to extend home streak

Posted on 24 July 2010 by kali

Real Salt Lake’s overall unbeaten streak may be over, but the team will be looking to keep its 18-game unbeaten run at Rio Tinto Stadium alive on Saturday when Chivas USA comes to visit.

RSL, despite having its 10-game unbeaten and 567-minute shutout streaks ended last weekend in a 2-0 loss at FC Dallas, has more than just its first home match since the Independence Day weekend to look forward to.  Midfielder and captain Kyle Beckerman, who has been out of action for the past seven matches with a foot injury, is likely to return to the lineup on Saturday.  Beckerman’s return would give coach Jason Kreis nearly a full complement of players from which to choose, with the exception of players away on loan with USL teams.

Real will face a Chivas team that has made some significant roster changes since the two teams last met in May, a match which RSL won 2-1 at the Home Depot Center.  The Goats recently signed midfielders Paulo Nagamura and Rodolfo Espinoza and striker Giancarlo Maldonado, then acquired U.S. youth international Sal Zizzo in a lottery earlier this week.  While Maldonado and Espinoza both played in Superliga action this week and are expected to play a role in Saturday’s match, Zizzo is unlikely to appear.

Chivas’ visit to Rio Tinto Stadium will also mark a homecoming for striker Justin Braun, who grew up in Salt Lake City.  Braun has scored six goals this season, with three of those coming in the last five games; although he is officially listed as questionable for Saturday’s match, he expects to play.  Coach Martin Vazquez said of Braun’s recent form, “That’s huge, and it is well deserved. He comes in every day and works. The last two games, he has come in and taken his chances, as well.”

However, the Goats will be without defender Jonathan Bornstein, who has a knee strain, and goalkeeper Zach Thornton, who is out with an ankle sprain.

Regardless of the players that Vasquez selects on Saturday, Real coach Jason Kreis expects his own team to move on from last week’s defeat and return to winning form.  “We move forward. We need to forget that game as quickly as possible,” Kreis said. “The biggest concern is how the players will view it and whether or not they can move on quickly. We haven’t lost a game in a long time, so it feels brand new.”

The match will kick off at 8 pm MT and can be seen locally on KUTV 2.2.

In other RSL news:

  • Defender Jamison Olave received his green card this week, meaning that he will no longer occupy an international spot on RSL’s roster.  Although RSL is not expected to make any immediate major acquisitions, the spot will allow more flexibility when considering international players in the future.
  • Goalkeeper Nick Rimando was named to the MLS All-Star team this week; he will join Olave, Beckerman, and Javier Morales on the squad for Wednesday’s match against Manchester United in Houston.

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