Cristian Arango, RSL take aim at porous Sporting KC

League: MLS

Posted on: 19 Jun, 2024 at 01:01 AM

Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The team with the best record in the Western Conference will match up with a club desperately in need of a win as Real Salt Lake invades Kansas City, Kan., for a match against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.

RSL (9-2-7, 34 points) have the second-best record and the best goal differential (+17) in the league. They are tied with the Columbus Crew for the fewest losses in MLS. RSL are almost as good on the road as they are at home, going 3-1-6 away from Utah.

Pablo Mastroeni's club is 8-0-6 in its last 14 matches. Things have been going so well that a scoreless draw at CF Montreal on Saturday felt like a disappointment.

"I think frustration is the feeling that best encapsulates the feeling of the group," Mastroeni said. "I love that, because whether we're home or away, we want to win games."

Salt Lake is led by captain Cristian "Chicho" Arango, who leads MLS with 16 goals.

Sporting Kansas City (3-10-5, 14 points) snapped a seven-match losing streak with a 2-1 victory over Seattle in their last home match. That was just the second home victory of the season for SKC.

But on Saturday night, they fell back on the losing side with a 4-2 road defeat at the Los Angeles Galaxy. Mistakes cost SKC as they were advancing the ball with a chance to tie the match at 2-2 when a turnover led to a Galaxy goal.

"You just can't lose that ball," coach Peter Vermes said. "It's not like it was a tough ball. It was a great pass. But we're trying to be cheeky ... and we lose the ball. Now, all of a sudden, the team stepped up, and they go over the top and get the third one."

Offense has not been a problem for SKC, as they have scored multiple goals in nine of 18 matches. Their 28 goals are tied for sixth-best in the Western Conference and tied for eighth overall in MLS. Stopping goals, however, has been the issue. Their 36 goals allowed are second-worst in the league.

Kansas City needs to figure it out quickly, as RSL has scored 36 goals, second-best in the league.

--Field Level Media