Fresh off a win in one of the league’s toughest places to play, Real Salt Lake now looks for a victory in another challenging environment.
Salt Lake seeks its first ever win against D.C. United at RFK Stadium on Saturday night.
RSL couldn’t have started its season in much better fashion, taking a 2-0 win at San Jose on Sunday. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando made two saves to shut out the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners and the league’s top scoring team last season. He became the second player in league history with 100 career regular-season shutouts and is looking for another strong season after finishing tied for second in the MLS last year with 12 clean sheets.
Alvaro Saborio was one of three players to score multiple goals in MLS’ opening weekend, registering his 12th two-goal game in the MLS as RSL snapped San Jose’s 18-game home regular-season unbeaten streak dating back to 2011.
But RSL still sees much to improve on, especially after yielding numerous scoring chances that San Jose simply failed to capitalize on.
“Overall we need to work on our field positions,” midfielder Kyle Beckerman told the team’s official website. “Sometimes teams close off the angles and we as a team have to adjust.”
United (0-0-1) carry a 16-game regular-season home unbeaten streak (12-0-4) since losing their opener at RFK last year. They’re also 4-0-3 all-time in the nation’s capital against RSL.
D.C. is coming off a disappointing opener, however, falling 2-0 at Houston last Saturday. It was a scoreless game until an own goal by United’s James Riley in the 80th minute.
“We had a couple chances on a breakout but other than that they had the majority of the opportunities,” D.C midfielder Chris Pontius said.
United was outshot 17-9 and could struggle again to generate offense without Dwyane De Rosario, who will serve the second of his two-game suspension for violent conduct in a preseason match. De Rosario, who was also fined an undisclosed amount, head-butted Philadelphia midfielder Danny Cruz on Feb. 23. The 2011 league MVP was tied for third on the team last year with seven goals.
Scoring has been a problem recently in the series for United, who have been shut out in four of the last six meetings, including a 1-0 loss at RSL last year.
Rimando had four saves in that one, and is 3-1-3 in his last seven versus United.
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