Real Salt Lake looks to end slide against Timbers

Real Salt Lake looks to end slide against Timbers

Aug 26, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers midfielder Evander (20) controls the ball during the second half against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Providence Park.
Image: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake has played its past three matches in three different competitions.

And lost them all.

RSL (10-8-7, 37 points) will try to get back on track when it visits Portland (6-11-8, 26 points) in a Major League Soccer match Wednesday night.

Salt Lake lost midfielder Pablo Ruiz, who had four goals and a team-high six assists, to a season-ending knee injury earlier this month.

It has since lost 4-0 at Los Angeles FC in the Leagues Cup round of 16, 3-1 at Houston in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup and again to the Dynamo 3-0 on Saturday at home in the resumption of MLS play.

“I think the group lacks a little bit of confidence after the recent results,” RSL coach Pablo Mastroeni said. “You’ve got to believe when you step on that field that you’re going to win the game.

“I told them, ‘You guys didn’t get here because you’re a poor group of soccer players. You don’t go on the run that we did for three months if you’re poor soccer players. If you feel sorry for yourself, you’ll never get to where you were.’

“Now we’ve just got to put it all together and go to Portland and get a result.”

The Timbers fired coach Giovanni Savarese last week after a 5-0 loss at Houston.

They played better Saturday against visiting Vancouver in the debut of interim coach Miles Joseph, but still suffered a 3-2 defeat despite goals from Felipe Mora and Evander.

“What I can say is that everyone has to do more,” Timbers captain Diego Chara said. “In defense, in attack, we need to figure out how to do better things on the field.”

This will be the third meeting between the teams this season.

Real Salt Lake knocked out the Timbers in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup with a 4-3 decision May 10 at Portland. That snapped RSL’s seven-match winless streak (0-5-2) at Providence Park. The teams played to a scoreless draw a week later in an MLS match in Sandy, Utah.

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.