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Impact-Real Salt Lake Preview

AP - Sports

Winning has been a struggle of late for Real Salt Lake, which feels like it can't catch a break.

A visit from the worst team in MLS could be just what it needs to get on track.

Real Salt Lake tries to pick up three points Thursday night against the Montreal Impact, who are winless on the road.

RSL (7-4-8) has been outscored 12-5 during a 1-4-2 slide, though it did manage to pull out a 1-all draw against Vancouver on Saturday.

Salt Lake fell behind on a penalty kick in the 73rd minute after Nat Borchers was whistled for a questionable foul in the box. Joao Plata, though, scored eight minutes later as RSL improved to 4-1-4 at home.

"Definitely during this streak we've had some bad bounces for sure," Borchers told the league's official website. "After what happened to me on Saturday, you have to be a little more thoughtful about making challenges in the box.

"If you do the right things, if you continue to play the right way, I think those bounces even out."

While things haven't gone its way of late, RSL is tied with FC Dallas for second place in the Western Conference, thanks to its unbeaten 12-game start.

"It's staying positive and just trying to keep the locker room and the guys together," coach Jeff Cassar said. "Focusing on the positive things, learning from the negatives and having that killer mentality. ... A lot of times, it comes down defensively to discipline."

RSL would appear to have a good chance to regroup against Montreal (3-10-5), which has been outscored 17-6 in going 0-6-3 on the road. The Impact have dropped three in a row overall after losing 2-1 at Columbus on Saturday.

Marco Di Vaio opened the scoring in the 35th minute with his third goal in four games before the Crew took control. The Impact, who joined MLS in 2012, have yet to drop four straight in a season.

"In the end, it's collectively that we need to be really, really strong mentally and physically," captain Patrice Bernier said. "For 90 minutes and more. ... I could say everything about the three aspects of our team – attack, midfield, defense – it's easy to overanalyze. I feel like, collectively, we have to stay solid and not give anything away."

The Impact are last in the East with 1.0 goal per match. They fell 1-0 in their only visit to Utah in 2012 before taking last year's matchup, 3-2 in stoppage time May 11.

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