Real Salt Lake is one of two undefeated teams remaining in MLS.
The Philadelphia Union have never beaten Salt Lake, but they believe that can change now that forward Andrew Wenger is part of their squad.
Wenger is expected to make his Union debut Saturday at home, where all three meetings between these clubs have ended in draws.
Starting goalie Nick Rimando remains out with a knee injury, which means backup Jeff Attinella will get a second straight start. Attinella will make his first appearance against a new-look Philadelphia team that made a splash by adding midfielder Maurice Edu in the offseason before trading for Wenger last Friday.
"They've made quite a few additions to their team that have really gave them confidence," RSL coach Jeff Cassar said. "But we're feeling good about what we're doing right now, had a good road result at Kansas City. We're looking to go at them a little bit, impose our will on them and see how they deal with it."
That sounds like music to Wenger's ears as he will debut after coming over from Montreal for Jack McInerney. The 23-year-old Wenger played for Philadelphia's affiliate in Reading, and is a native of nearby Lancaster, Pa.
He was suspended for last Saturday's 2-2 draw at Chicago.
"Obviously the team wants to press high and I'm going to be in one of those attacking roles and just trying to get forward and get chances and just press the other teams and hopefully win the ball in the attacking third, which will help us get more chances," Wenger said.
Philadelphia (1-1-3) is 0-2-4 in the all-time series. RSL is one of three teams the Union have never beaten, along with FC Dallas and Portland.
Cassar's team seems to be getting healthier even though Rimando will sit out. Midfielder Sebastian Velasquez could make his 2014 debut after being out with a hamstring injury while defender Chris Wingert could be back from a groin injury.
Tony Beltran is expected to remain out with an ankle injury while fellow midfielder Luis Gil's status is also uncertain with an injury that Cassar could only describe as "weird."
RSL's first-year coach has big shoes to fill in replacing Jason Kreis, but the transition has been smooth so far with the club off to its longest unbeaten start.
"Then you have Jeff, who it's his first time head coaching but he's been an assistant there for a very long time," Union coach John Hackworth said. "I don't think they're skipping a beat in that regard. They've had a lot of continuity."
Edu scored his first Philadelphia goal last weekend and Leo Fernandes took over the team lead with his second. Conor Casey started at forward, but figures to give way to Wenger.
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- Andrew Wenger
- Jeff Cassar
- Jeff Attinella
- Nick Rimando