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Real Salt Lake vs. New York Red Bulls | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Real Salt Lake vs. New York Red Bulls
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 3
Rio Tinto Stadium
9:00 pm ET – March 17, 2018

Following an historic win over Club Tijuana to reach the Concacaf Champions League semifinals for the first time in club history, the New York Red Bulls head to Utah to reunite with Mike Petke, a club legend as a player and wildly popular and successful coach. It is the first time the Red Bulls will meet their former coach since Petke was unceremoniously fired following the team’s run to the 2014 Eastern Conference Championship.

While the Red Bulls are unbeaten in five matches in all competitions to open the 2018 season, Real Salt Lake are looking to rebound from a 5-1 home thrashing by expansion side LAFC, a defeat prompting a post-game Petke apology to fans.

Real Salt Lake 

Things started off so well for RSL when Joao Plata scored on the rebound of a saved penalty kick in the 20th minute, but it was all LAFC from there, with Diego Rossi netting a brace to continue his red-hot start and Latif Blessing, Benny Feilhaber and Carlos Vela adding one goal apiece as the visitors struck for five goals in the final 60 minutes.

A different RSL team should step on the field when Petke faces his former club.

“It was an anomaly,” Petke said. 

  • Suspended: None 
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), M - Jordan Allen (knee), D - Taylor Peay (knee); QUESTIONABLE: D - Adam Henley (hamstring), D - Aaron Herrera

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Nick Rimando — Shawn Barry, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Demar Phillips — Damir Kreilach, Kyle Beckerman — Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata — Luis Silva

  • Notes: Rusnak has already created a league-best 10 chances this season. Only three other players have created more than six. … Real Salt Lake conceded a franchise-worst five goals in their home opener last week. They are looking to avoid losing their first two home games in a season for the first time in team history.

New York Red Bulls

Is there a hotter player to start the 2018 season than Bradley Wright-Phillips? The veteran forward has four goals and five assists in all competitions, scoring both away goals in the first leg against Club Tijuana and assisting on all three goals in a 3-1 return leg at frigid Red Bull Arena Tuesday night.

In that win, Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra and Marc Rzatkowski both came off the bench to score their first goals in a Red Bulls uniform.

Fidel Escobar earned a spot on the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi for a strong performance in a 4-0 win by a reserve-laden Red Bulls squad over the Portland Timbers in the club’s league opener last Saturday.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: None

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Luis Robles — Michael Murillo, Aaron Long, Tim Parker, Kemar Lawrence — Tyler Adams, Marc Rzatkowski — Sean Davis, Kaku, Daniel Royer — Bradley Wright-Phillips

  • Notes: Wright-Phillips has zero goals in four career appearances against RSL, tied for his fewest against any MLS foe (min. three appearances) … The Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last two road openers (1W-1D), their longest such streak since 2010-11 (1W-1D). They have not gone unbeaten in three straight road openers since doing so in seven straight years from 2001-07.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Real Salt Lake 6 wins, 27 goals … Red Bulls 5 wins, 27 goals … Ties 9
  • At Salt Lake.: Real Salt Lake 5 wins, 18 goals … Red Bulls 0 wins, 9 goals … Ties 5
  • Last meeting at Salt Lake: Real Salt Lake 2, New York Red Bulls 1 (June 22, 2016)


Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Eduardo Mariscal, Michael Kampmeinert
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
VAR: Drew Fischer

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Current Form

Real Salt Lake
NY Red Bulls

Season Goal Leaders

Season Stats

Real Salt LakeNew York Red Bulls
2Games Played1
6Goals Conceded0
9Shots on Target9
15Fouls committed9
29Fouls suffered8

Goals Scored


Goals Conceded

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