Western Conference opponent Real Salt Late travel to MAPFRE Stadium this weekend to take on Columbus Crew SC. After missing the playoffs in 2015, RSL is off to quite the start to this season. The Monarchs already have six wins through 11 matches this season, giving them 20 points. This mark puts them in third place in the West.
The Claret-and-Cobalt began the season on a hot streak, not losing in the first six matches of the year and capturing four wins in the process. Since that point, Salt Lake has lost three of its last five matches and failed to score a goal in 231 consecutive minutes. Despite the slugging last few games, RSL enters this match on the back of 3-1 victory at Sporting Kansas City last Saturday.
The series between the two sides has been largely dominated by the Black & Gold. Since Real's addition to Major League Soccer in 2005, Crew SC has managed a 10-5-2 record, including a 7-1-1 record at MAPFRE Stadium.
Salt Lake will be without captain and midfielder Kyle Beckerman in this match. The 34-year old is part of Jurgen Klinsmann's U.S. National Team squad that is preparing to compete in the Copa America Centenario.
Keys to the Match
- Control possession: RSL likes to play a similar style of game as Crew SC most of the time. If Columbus can keep the ball and pin Salt Lake back, it will do wonders for keeping them out of the attacking portion of the field.
- Watch out for the counter: This should be on here every week, but for Real it's especially important. When they want to, RSL can sit back and counter and that's what they did in Kansas City last week. That was a 3-1 win.
- Keep feeding Ola: One day one of these chances will find the back of the net. Why not this day?
How to Watch
Date/Time: May 27, 2016/7:30 p.m. EST
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, OH
Television: CW Columbus, TWC SportsChannel
Online: MLS Live
Radio: CD 102.5 (English), La Mega 103.1 (Spanish)