A rare Friday game sees RSL host Vancouver. Both teams are
in the top three in the Western Conference, but which way should we go with our
Despite the fact they're right next to each other in the
standings, soccer odds makers are expecting a win for RSL at home. They're priced at
-163 to win.
The visiting Whitecaps can be found as high as +417 in the
soccer odds, while a draw is listed at +250.
Real Salt Lake
Also known as the Royals, RSL is doing its darnedest to keep
up with the San Jose Earthquakes atop the Western Conference.
The Earthquakes currently have 44 points with a goal
differential of plus-18, while the Royals have 39 points and a plus-7
If RSL hadn't of gotten blown out by San Jose two weeks ago,
the race would be that much closer.
After that 5-0 drubbing at the hand of the Earthquakes, the
Royals rebounded with a 2-0 home win over the Colorado Rapids. Alvaro Saborio
and Will Johnson scored for the hosts in a match they pretty much dominated
It came as no surprise that Saborio managed to get on the
scoresheet. It was his eleventh goal of the season, putting him in third place
on the goalscoring charts. Only Chris Wondolowski and Kenny Cooper are ahead of
The Whitecaps are trying to catch up with San Jose and RSL,
but really need a win on Friday night to keep pace. They're at 32 points right
now, seven behind the Royals.
They did however pick up one of their best results of the
season their last time on the pitch, beating the Earthquakes 2-1 at home.
Despite having almost half as many shots, the Whitecaps made
the most of their chances, getting an early first half goal from new
acquisition Dane Richards before Barr y Robson converted from the penalty spot
in the second half.
Kenny Miller, recently signed by the club, also featured for
the first time, coming off the bench. We're thinking there's a great chance he
gets the start on Friday alongside the exciting Darren Mattocks.
Only 21 years old, Mattocks has been arguably the best young
player in the MLS this season. He has six goals in 12 league appearances and
has essentially become a must-start for coach Martin Rennie.
RSL gets the advantage of being at home, where they haven't
lost since June 23. On the season the Royals have gone 8-3 with one draw in 12
matches at Rio Tinto Stadium.
They face a Vancouver team that's 3-5-3 away from home and
one that's netted just eight goals in those 11 matches.
Signing an experienced striker in Miller should help address
those scoring woes as he should pair nicely with Mattocks. They have
contrasting styles, with Mattocks able to beat players with his pace and Miller
able to get himself into fantastic scoring positions.
With Miller, Mattocks, Dane Richards and Camilo Sanvezzo,
the Whitecaps have built up a nice little nucleus to carry them forward. Will
that translate into three points on the road on Friday?
We think that may be pushing it. The Royals have their own
fantastic striker partnership of Saborio and Fabian Espindola and are looking
strong, especially at home. We feel they might just sneak by with a narrow win,
but you may want to look at the OVER 2.5 goals as your soccer pick.
Real Salt Lake 2 Vancouver 1