MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
07/18/2014 3:17 PM
07/18/2014 3:24 PM
Vancouver (6-4-8) at Real Salt Lake (7-4-7), 10 p.m.
Sandy, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Salt Lake will host Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday for a crucial clash with big implications on the Western Conference table.
The two sides enter the weekend separated by just two points with RSL sitting in second place on 28 points, four spots above Vancouver on 26 points.
The tight race in the Western Conference means that every contest is crucial, especially for a Salt Lake side that has managed to win just one of its last seven league matches.
The club most recently suffered a 1-0 defeat to the Los Angeles Galaxy, but head coach Jeff Cassar was satisfied with everything except the result.
"I felt like it was a fantastic game for everyone in the stadium," Cassar said. "Obviously, it wasn't the outcome we wanted. But our commitment, passion, quality tonight was fantastic. I am so proud of our players. I think if we had couple of small turns go our way, it would have come away with a different result."
Salt Lake has tallied just four goals over its last seven league games, but the scoring woes do not seem to worry Cassar.
"We just got to keep putting them in position," the RSL boss said. "That's the beauty of our team it doesn't have to come from one certain area. But it is important that those guys get rewarded for some of the work that they are doing. Obviously, finishing off goals are important but we just got to continue doing a better job of getting them into the position and then seizing the opportunities."
"We are creating chances, it's not like we are not," Cassar continued. "That's the most important thing. The goals will come. If we keep putting ourselves in those positions, the goals are going to come. I think the last time I looked; we were third in the league for scoring goals. That's without our leading goal scorer for a good portion of the season. So that means everyone will have to pick up the differences, not just the forwards, but the midfielders, set plays, attacking set plays, that's how collectively we are going to score goals."
Vancouver, meanwhile, was held to a 1-1 draw at Toronto FC on Wednesday to rebound from a 3-1 loss to Chivas USA in its previous outing.
The 'Caps are hoping that a win against Salt Lake can spark a bit of a streak. They have consistently picked up points in recent weeks but have failed to really get going, producing a 2-2-3 record over their last seven league games.
Vancouver is also winless against Real Salt Lake in the last five league meetings between the two sides, but the 'Caps have managed to take three points from that stretch with a draw earlier this season and two more in the previous two campaigns.
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