Whitecaps FC-Real Salt Lake Preview

Real Salt Lake may be hosting the right opponent after having

its lengthy home winning streak come to an end.

The club will try to get back on track Saturday night when it

meets a Vancouver Whitecaps team playing its third match in eight

days and second under a new coach.

Real Salt Lake (5-2-2) is winless in its last three (0-1-2)

after a 2-1 loss to Seattle last Saturday, which ended RSL’s

29-game home unbeaten streak against MLS foes.

Since RSL lost 1-0 at home to Mexican club Monterrey in the

second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final April 27, the

club is 1-2-2 in MLS play.

“A month ago, everybody’s touting us as the best team in the

region, the best team in the league and maybe the best team in the

history of the league,” coach Jason Kreis told Real Salt Lake’s

official website. “And now we’ve had a difficult patch and now it’s

easy to think we’re the worst team in the league. The truth is

always somewhere in between. I just don’t think that we’re in such

dire straits right now.”

RSL had been shut out in back-to-back matches before Nelson

Gonzalez scored in the 87th minute last week. The club has had

problems generating an attack since playmaking midfielder Javier

Morales suffered an ankle injury that could sideline him for the

entire season May 7 against Chivas USA.

Defender Jamison Olave is suspended after being sent off against

Seattle.

“We just have to focus on what we do well, and getting back to

doing that, and the results will come,” defender Chris Wingert

said. “For now it doesn’t matter really what other people think of

us – good things or bad things. We just have to make sure we put

forth a good performance on Saturday and then everything will take

care of itself.”

Vancouver (1-5-7) enters with a 0-4-2 road record and will play

its second match under Tom Soehn, who took over the expansion team

Monday after Teitur Thordarson was fired. The Whitecaps remained

winless since their first game of the season with a 1-1 draw with

Chivas on Wednesday.

Camilo scored his fourth goal of the season for Vancouver, which

held on after Eric Hassli was sent off in the 66th minute in

Soehn’s first match.

“Once you’re down, we were in survival mode,” Soehn said. “From

that standpoint, it was a really courageous effort from some of the

guys to hang on for a point.”

Hassli picked up his third ejection of the season, and won’t be

available. The Whitecaps also have three players out on

international duty – Terry Dunfield (Canada), Michael Boxall (New

Zealand) and Nizar Khalfan (Tanzania).

Vancouver is hoping the coaching change will spark a

turnaround.

“You can’t look at the past because it’s called the past for a

reason,” captain Jay DeMerit said. “What’s in front of us is what’s

important and now we need to rally around our new manager.”