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Massive Predictions: Crew at Real Salt Lake

How the Massive Report staff thinks Saturday’s Crew after dark match will play out

Real Salt Lake v Vancouver Whitecaps FC Photo by Christopher Morris - Corbis/Getty Images

In March of 2020, the Columbus Crew started the season with four points in two matches and was set to welcome Real Salt Lake to then MAPFRE Stadium. Then the COVID-19 pandemic started, shutting down the United States. It’s now been almost three years since the Crew has played Salt Lake, with the Claret and Clarion beating the Black & Gold 1-0 on July 3, 2019.

On Saturday night, Columbus takes on the second-best team in the Supporters’ Shield standings at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, where the home side is undefeated in seven matches. Real has a familiar name to Crew supporters in winger Justin Meram, who sits fifth on the Crew’s list of all-time appearances with 234. It’s the first time Meram has faced his longest-tenured MLS club since Sept. 14, 2019, when he was playing for Atlanta United.

Before we jump into what Massive Report thinks will happen Saturday night, here’s where the predictors stand 15 matches into the regular season.

Massive Report 2022 Predictions

Name MP Correct Score/Result Correct Result Wrong Result Points
Name MP Correct Score/Result Correct Result Wrong Result Points
Patrick Murphy 15 2 5 8 11
Brian Moracz 15 2 5 8 11
Collin Johnson 14 2 3 9 9
Theodore Sovinski 13 1 6 6 9
Caleb Denorme 15 1 4 10 7
John Pearson 10 1 4 5 7
Drew McDaniel 13 1 3 9 6
Abigail Hintz 6 1 3 2 6
Ryan Schmitt 10 1 3 6 6
Nathan Townsend 13 1 3 9 6
Kyle Jackson 7 1 1 5 4
Adam Miller 14 0 4 10 4
Devin Weisberth 11 1 1 9 4
Thomas Costello 15 0 3 12 3
Grant Miller 6 0 1 5 1

Here’s what our staff think about Saturday’s match in Utah.

Brian Moracz

Despite a laundry list of injured players, I still predicted the Crew would pull off the win at home against Charlotte FC. However, the Black & Gold put together another uninspiring home performance and took only a point from the matchup with the MLS debutantes. This week, Columbus travels to Real Salt Lake, who is the shock of the MLS season thus far, sitting second in the Supporters’ Shield standings.

Not only has RSL been in excellent form as of late, but they have also turned Rio Tinto Stadium into a fortress, as no visiting club has walked out of Salt Lake’s home ground with three points this season. This is all to say that I believe this week’s prediction is very easy. The Crew is shut out on the road, with winger Jefferson Savarino scoring for Real.
Real Salt Lake 1 Columbus Crew 0

Caleb Denorme

The Crew had a good week in terms of news when they signed Cucho Hernández from Watford to fill the team’s much-needed striker vacancy. What many people forget is that Columbus takes on Real Salt Lake this Saturday, who sits second in the Western Conference standings and has been amazing at home all season. I see this game ending in a draw with goals coming from forward Erik Hurtado and our old Columbus friend Jusstin Meram.

A draw would be a great result to come away with, especially against a good team with a strong home record this season. The Black & Gold just need to keep picking up points to put themselves in a good position when all the injured players return and Hernandez joins the team.
Columbus Crew 1 Real Salt Lake 1

Collin Johnson

After this week in Crew news, you’d be hard-pressed to remember last week’s lackluster home draw against Charlotte FC. Kevin Molino’s return to the team was a welcome sight but the injury concerns remain for Saturday’s trip to an in-form Real Salt Lake. Salt Lake is sitting second in the West and has a cadre of goal scorers leading the way. A road match for Columbus means a conservative game plan looking to grab every point possible until reinforcements arrive in July.
Columbus Crew 0 Real Salt Lake 0

Devin Weisbarth

Columbus once again comes into this game with a load of injury worries. Artur is officially ruled out, but Johnathan Mensah returns, which will be a big boost. The Crew has not been good on the road, though the team did win its last game. Real Salt Lake, on the other hand, is having a great season thus far.

With the injury woes, coupled with how they play on the road, I expect this to be a tight game.
Columbus Crew 1 Real Salt Lake 1

Kyle Jackson

Since Columbus’ 2019 loss to RSL, Real Salt Lake has rebuilt its squad into a MLS Cup playoff contender with one of the league’s best winning forms at home. The Crew enters Rio Tinto Stadium where the home team is undefeated in four straight matches under the lights while the Black & Gold have failed to keep a clean sheet in five matches. I think this will be another strong test for an inconsistent Crew team and one I don’t think they’ll pass.
Real Salt Lake 2 Columbus Crew 0

Patrick Murphy

A combination of the Crew’s disappointing road form over the last few years and Real Salt Lake’s undefeated record at Rio Tinto Stadium this year doesn’t appear to be a recipe for success for the Black & Gold on Saturday night. But surprises happen all the time in MLS, right?... Right? This is certainly going to be a tough task for Columbus on the road given the number of players that could sit out this game.

I expect the Crew to sit back quite a bit and allow Salt Lake to have the ball, similar to games against Sporting Kansas City and Atlanta United. A set piece goal, or something on the break, would be huge for the visitors, but I’m not sure I see it coming. I do think the return of Jonathan Mensah will be important however in a road point.
Columbus Crew 0 Real Salt Lake 0

Columbus Crew Real Salt Lake

Ryan Schmitt

Real Salt Lake is second in the Western Conference and second in the Supporters’ Shield race. Columbus is 1-2-2 in the team’s last five games, with back-to-back losses against New York City FC and LAFC, both of which sit atop the Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively. Given the lack of success across the other two games against top clubs, I think the Black & Gold loses this game.
Real Salt Lake 2 Columbus Crew 0

Thomas Costello

The Crew’s injury report looks grim, with the addition of Derrick Etienne Jr. and Erik Hurtado, but I’m an optimist in Salt Lake City. A lot of people, myself included, are sharing how RSL is undefeated at home and in second place in the Western Conference, but the team also only has one more goal scored than allowed.

Columbus will get behind Salt Lakes’ goalkeeper and get on the scoreboard Saturday evening, thanks to Luis Díaz, who saw his name removed from the injury report. Does that mean I think the Black & Gold win? No. But a draw is a strong likelihood. It’ll look a lot like Columbus’ match at Kansas City: a firm defensive line and sitting back, waiting for any opportunity.

Captain Jonathan Mensah returns and the defense holds on, with no goal from Justin Meram.
Columbus Crew 1 Real Salt Lake 1

What do you think happens? Does Columbus overcome or will another tough road appearance take the buzz out of Hernandez’s Crew welcome? Share your prediction in the comments or on our Twitter or Facebook pages.