Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. Portland Timbers
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, June 18 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)
Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 5/4 – Draw 12/5 – Portland Timbers 21/20
Real Salt Lake won their last MLS outing, away against New York City in that thrilling 3-2 tie. They’ll be hoping for a repeat this weekend in front of goal, but will have looked at tightening up at the back.
Jeff Cassar’s side played in the US Open Cup during the international break, where they won on penalties after they came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in normal time.
Real Salt Lake are currently 3rd in the Western Conference, trailing top spot by five points. They will feel like their impressive home form can continue to push them in the right direction.
Portland Timbers won in their last MLS outing too. Their 1-0 win over San Jose extended their unbeaten run to three as they look to continue to improve on what has been a below-par start to the season.
Caleb Porter’s side also played in the US Open Cup during the break, repeating their win again San Jose, beating them 2-0 this time around.
Portland are sitting 7th in the West but have closed the gap on the top six to just one point. They have to make sure they finish in the top six to avoid an embarrassing attempt to defend their MLS title and that means improved results are needed now.
Real Salt Lake currently have no injuries or suspensions. They will however be without Kyle Beckerman, who remains on international duty with US Men’s National Team.
Portland Timbers have three injury concerns as Alvas Powell, Adam Kwarasey and Darren Mattocks all look set to miss out.
Real Salt Lake’s form: L/L/W/L/W
Portland Timbers’ form: L/L/W/D/W
Key Stat: Real Salt Lake have won their last four games at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Key Player: Fanendo Adi – If Portland are to continue their run of form and end RSL’s home streak they will need their key man to be on form. He has netted eight goals so far this season and is always a threat.
Real Salt Lake 1-1 Portland Timbers – A cagey return to MLS for both of these sides is expected. Portland had just found form before the break, while Real Salt Lake have been impressive at home in recent outings. Score draw.