Real Salt Lake(RSL) will host Toronto FC at the Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday in the MLS.
RSL are in seventh place in the Western Conference as of now. If they fall below the seventh spot, they won’t make the MLS Cup Playoffs. The likes of Vancouver Whitecaps and San Jose Earthquakes are hot on their tails, and both of them are within two points. RSL have to pick up their form if they want a certain playoff spot. They have won just four games all season.Embed from Getty Images
The good part is that three of those wins have come in the last five games. They played the Colorado Rapids last week and won 3-2. Albert Rusnak and Corey Baird scored early goals, and RSL raced into a 2-0 lead. But the Rapids bounced back and made it 2-2. Sam Johnson scored the goal which turned out to be the eventual winner. They will hope to build some momentum and get some more wins under their belt. Their defense is a significant weakness for them right now. RSL have conceded 20 goals in 11 league games this season.
Clean sheets have been hard to come by, and they have kept just two all season. They need some improvement in the attack as well. Albert Rusnak is their top scorer with five goals, and Sam Johnson has netted four. RSL will be dependent on that duo yet again when they face Toronto.
Toronto are in a better spot, as they are in sixth place in the tougher Eastern Conference. Their recent form is not great, as they have lost the last two games. Atlanta beat them 2-0 two weeks, ago, and Philadelphia beat them 2-1 last week. Toronto dominated the game against Philadelphia but failed to get anything from it. Alejandro Pozuelo got the lone goal for them in that match.Embed from Getty Images
They have scored just once in the last two games, but that is an anomaly. Toronto’s attack has impressed throughout the season. They have scored 22 goals, a tally which is bettered by only Los Angeles FC and Philadelphia Union in the MLS. Pozuelo has scored five goals, and so has Jozy Altidore. The likes of Jonathan Osorio and Jordan Hamilton have chipped in as well.
Toronto have 16 points right now, and so do Columbus and Chicago. It is a tight playoff race in the Eastern Conference, particularly at the bottom. Toronto will want to put daylight between themselves and the rest of the pack. The head to head record is encouraging for them. In the last three meetings with RSL, Toronto have won two and drawn one. They last met in March 2018, and Toronto won 3-1 on that day.
Real Salt Lake vs Toronto FC Prediction
RSL have the home advantage, but Toronto will be the slight favorites for this one. Their form has not been great, but they have enough quality in the side to get the three points. The total goals should be more than 2.5 in this game.