Chivas USA-Real Salt Lake Preview
Chivas USA's point streak is over. Starting another one could be tough if Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando is in net.
Chivas goes for a second consecutive victory at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night when RSL opens a much-needed three-game homestand.
After scoring 10 times during a 3-0-1 stretch, Chivas USA fell 1-0 to visiting Colorado last Saturday for its first defeat since losing 3-0 to Columbus in the season opener. Coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola's club, tied for second in MLS with 10 goals, had two shots on goal and Jose Correa missed a penalty kick in the 36th minute.
"The only path that we have now, is hard work," Sanchez Sola told Chivas' official website. "We don't have any other choice. We thought we would get an easy win because of our past results. We were unbeaten in four games and we thought we were hot stuff and of course, we got away from the hard work, which should be our only path."
Chivas' path now leads the club to Utah, where it won 1-0 in its last visit March 24, 2012, to end a five-game winless stretch in this series. RSL (2-3-2), though, won the final two meetings in 2012 by a combined 7-0 margin to improve to 6-1-1 in the last eight versus Chivas (3-2-1).
Coach Jason Kreis' team will try to improve that mark following last Saturday's 1-all draw at Vancouver. Rookie forward Olmes Garcia's first MLS goal in the 66th minute was RSL's first score in four road games. The club has six goals in 2013.
"I hope that we all don't feel that (Garcia) just scored one goal so his job is done because there is a whole lot more left to be done," Kreis told Salt Lake's official website.
With RSL struggling to find some offensive consistency, the club has leaned heavily on Rimando, who has given up five goals in six games.
"Typically, he takes a little longer to get going, but he's been amazing. He's kept us in multiple games now and given us a chance to pick up points, so hats off to him," Kreis said.
Rimando, 10-5-2 in this series, is second in MLS with 23 saves. Chivas' Dan Kennedy leads the league with 28, and he's surrendered one goal in each of the last five matches. However, rookie Deshorn Brown's penalty kick was the difference last Saturday.
"We have a little something to prove after last week's performance," Kennedy said.