Generating offense has grown into a serious problem for Real Salt Lake ahead of hosting the Portland Timbers on Wednesday night in Sandy, Utah.
Salt Lake (3-6-2, 11 points) hasn’t scored a goal in three straight MLS matches. Two of those scoreless outings came at home. RSL have generated only 10 goals through 11 matches. Eight goals have come in their three victories, meaning they have generated only two goals in the other eight matches combined.
It has led Salt Lake to post the worst goal differential among MLS clubs thus far at minus-10 after yielding 20 goals through 11 matches. Los Angeles FC beat the Utah club 3-0 on Saturday, ending RSL’s 229-minute shutout streak while becoming the third opponent to score three or more goals on them this season.
LAFC’s offensive outburst ended a two-match shutout streak for goalkeeper Zac MacMath. RSL outshot their opponents 20-15, but could not finish chances.
“I thought the performance overall was deserving of a result — if we could capitalize on some of the opportunities,” Salt Lake coach Pablo Mastroeni said.
Portland (4-5-3, 15 points) is on a much better trajectory entering Wednesday’s match. The Timbers have scored 12 goals over their last five MLS matches and are currently on a three-match unbeaten streak (2-0-1).
Their latest triumph came against the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Timbers beat Vancouver 3-1 in a Cascadia Cup match on Saturday. Evander led the way with a brace that earned him MLS Player of the Week honors.
“Very important win for many, many reasons,” Portland coach Giovanni Savarese said. “Three points, Cascadia Cup, home game and we performed very well. We played very well. We can still progress, still get better.”
Salt Lake and Portland faced off in a U.S. Open Cup match a week ago with RSL prevailing 4-3 in a high-scoring affair. Maikel Chang had the game-tying and go-ahead goals in the 55th and 59th minutes for RSL.
–Field Level Media
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