MLS: RSL ready to douse the Chicago Fire
At times, Real Salt Lake has been known to let down its guard.
With Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and others out of the lineup for the L.A. Galaxy earlier this year, an RSL letdown allowed two early goals in a disappointing home loss. So going into last-place Chivas last weekend, RSL defender Tony Beltran said he and his teammates were focused on "getting up and not taking them too lightly."
The same could be said this week as the Chicago Fire come to Rio Tinto Stadium. The Fire sit in the Eastern Conference's eight spot and haven't scored a goal in a three-match span dating back to April 20.
Beltran, however, sees an opponent with attacking options that belies a squad that has mustered only six goals in 10 games so far this year.
"Chicago, they're dangerous," he said. "They've got some very fast guys. [Midfielder Patrick] Nyarko, I think, is one of the most underrated players in the league."
Chicago has had some success against RSL in Utah, holding a 3-2-2 advantage over Salt Lake in seven matches here. RSL will be looking to limit attacker Chris Rolfe on Saturday, as the team tries to change its fortunes against the Fire.
"He just creates a lot for them," Salt Lake center back Nat Borchers said of Rolfe. "He comes in underneath the high forward and he starts their attack. So we need to deny him the ball as much as we can and make sure he's not dangerous."
RSL coach Jason Kreis hopes his team continues the offensive explosion of recent weeks. After struggling to finish chances early in the season, RSL now has 10 goals in its last four matches, including a 4-1 win over Chivas USA last weekend.
In all, RSL has seen 16 goals from nine different players.
"That's exactly how we want to play," Kreis said. "We want to have midfielders scoring goals. We want outside backs creating goals and scoring goals. We want center backs scoring on corner kicks. We want everybody to be a factor in creating and scoring goals on our team."
Chicago Fire at Real Salt Lake
O At Rio Tinto Stadium
Kickoff •Â Saturday, 7 p.m. TV • CW30
Records • RSL 6-5-2 (20 points); Fire 2-7-1 (7 points)
About the RSL • Team has scored 10 goals in its last four matches. ... Goalkeeper Nick Rimando is tied for the league lead in saves. ... Leading scorer Alvaro Saborio is listed as questionable for Saturday.
About the Fire • Chicago hasn't scored a goal in its last three matches, a stretch dating back to April 20. ... The team has scored only six goals on the year. ... Owns a 3-2-2 advantage against RSL in Utah.