Union-Real Salt Lake Preview

Union-Real Salt Lake Preview

Published Jul. 2, 2013 9:59 p.m. ET

As Real Salt Lake tries to match a club record for consecutive victories, Philadelphia hopes to keep its own undefeated streak alive without its top scorer.

With some of both club's top players on international assignments, RSL looks for a fifth consecutive league victory Wednesday night against the visiting Union.

Yordany Alvarez scored right before halftime to send Real Salt Lake (10-5-3) to a fourth straight MLS win, 1-0 at Toronto FC on Saturday. Riding a 5-0-1 stretch in league play since losing 3-2 at Montreal on May 11, RSL has outscored its last four MLS opponents 9-1.

"I'm so happy," Alvarez told Real Salt Lake's official website after he scored his first career goal. "We're winning. It feels good."


The Western Conference leaders won five in a row in 2010 and 2011.

"Our belief in our depth continues to grow," coach Jason Kreis told the league's official website. "I think everybody's heading in the right direction. I've always said that's what gets you results in this league, and I continue to think so."

That depth will be put to the test this month with goalkeeper Nick Rimando, captain Kyle Beckerman and defender Tony Beltran all on international assignments for the U.S. Alvaro Saborio, who has a team-leading five goals, is already away playing for Costa Rica.

Making matters potentially tougher, Salt Lake's four July opponents are all currently in playoff position.

Philadelphia (7-5-5), however, is 0-2-3 all-time against RSL and will be without leading scorer Jack McInerney, who has a career-high 10 goals but was called up to the U.S. Gold Cup roster.

The Union are in the midst of a 2-0-2 league stretch since falling 5-3 at Montreal on May 25. Sheanon Williams assisted on goals by Amobi Okugo and Aaron Wheeler, but the Union allowed a score in extra time of Saturday's 2-2 draw with FC Dallas.

"Extremely disappointed to lose two points in that fashion," coach John Hackworth said. "It is a hard way to feel like you lost a couple points, but I wouldn't say that we weren't at fault.

"I think the game should have been over. It was well over the allotted time that was shown on the clock, but you have to play until the final whistle in order to do that."

Both Dallas goals came on set plays and Philadelphia's six goals allowed from deadball situations are tied for second-most in MLS.

"We just have to pick it up for the next two road games," Okugo said.

"The positive from this is that we didn't lose it, but you hate to let any team get a point in your house - especially like that."

Williams has recorded three of his six assists in the last two matches.