Sandy, UT (Sports Network) - Both Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Real Salt Lake
are heading to the playoffs, and while Vancouver already knows its fate, there
is still plenty at stake for RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.
The Whitecaps will have an eye on their first-round matchup at the Los Angeles
Galaxy on Thursday and will be expected to rest some key players, but Salt
Lake will be playing for playoff positioning.
A 0-0 draw against Costa Rican side Herediano on Tuesday knocked RSL out of
the CONCACAF Champions League, and now head coach Jason Kreis will try to pull
his team back together as they gear up for the postseason.
Salt Lake enters the match level on 56 points with Seattle, but the Sounders
hold the tiebreaker based on goals scored, meaning that RSL needs a win and a
Seattle loss or draw to clinch the second seed.
Along with playoff positioning, finishing ahead of Seattle would also help
Salt Lake qualify for the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League.
Tuesday's 0-0 draw left many in the Salt Lake team frustrated as Herediano sat
back and defended, something that the club hopes will change upon its return
to league play.
"I don't think anybody is not together. I think we're all together in this,"
said midfielder Will Johnson. "Nobody was frustrated at each other, just
frustrated at the situation. You know, that's CONCACAF. That's the ugly side
of CONCACAF. It always has been and as long as it continues like this, it
always will be. So I think the guys are together and looking forward to
getting back to MLS play and some real football."
Salt Lake has been in good form in the league recently, winning three games
and drawing one in its last four, and goalkeeper Nick Rimando doesn't believe
that there will be any carryover from Tuesday's match as the team prepares for
"We just concentrate on our game and have no worries about how we're going to
play," Rimando said. "If we let this get the best of us and feel bad about
this game, it's not going to be good going into the playoffs, but I doubt
we're going to do that."
Vancouver could also use a positive result ahead of the playoffs on Thursday
as the club has lost six of its past nine matches.
The Sports Network