8:30 p.m. at Real Salt Lake • FSN-Plus, 1500-AM
One last stop for Loons before they return home
Preview: United saw its playoff hopes diminish even more Wednesday when it gave up the lead to D.C. United. The Loons must move on quickly from that 2-1 loss, though, as they prepare to play at Salt Lake just three days later. While United (9-16-2) languishes in ninth in the Western Conference, 12 points out of playoff contention, Salt Lake (13-10-5) is sitting fairly comfortably in fourth. The Loons exceeded low expectations last year to amass 10 victories, and coach Adrian Heath has pegged this year’s squad to improve that mark to at least 13. United has seven games left to win four more games and accomplish that goal. The good news for the Loons is that Saturday marks the end of a five-game road trip, which has so far gone 0-3-1 with opponents outscoring them 8-3.
Quotable: “Their last result gives you an idea of what they’re like at home. They beat [the L.A.] Galaxy with six [goals], could have been a lot more. Really good attacking, young players. They’ve invested in a lot of good, young talent with [forward Jefferson] Savarino on one side, [forward Joao] Plata on the other. They’ve got a lot of pace in the wide areas. I think the [midfielder Damir] Kreilach guy has been really good for them. He gives the rest of the group something to play off of, a focal point, and they’ve been good. We expect a really difficult game.” – Heath on Salt Lake.
Numbers: Salt Lake has won its past three games and scored 14 goals.
Absences: For United, D Jerome Thiesson (ankle) is out while D Francisco Calvo (thigh), D Eric Miller (groin/hamstring) and D Alexi Gomez (thigh) are questionable. F Mason Toye is on loan. For Salt Lake, D Tony Beltran (knee), M Jordan Allen (knee), GK Alex Horwath (Achilles), D David Horst (Achilles) and D Demar Phillips (hamstring) are out while GK Connor Sparrow (knee), D Marcelo Silva (ankle) and F Luis Silva (groin) are questionable.