Each Major League Soccer matchday in 2021, the KeyBank Scouting Report will give you a snapshot of the Portland Timbers’ next opponent. This Saturday, the Portland Timbers welcome Real Salt Lake to Providence Park (7:30pm PT, TICKETS, FOX 12 PLUS).
NOTE: As of Aug. 24, 2021, Timbers and Thorns matches at Providence Park require proof of vaccination and masks at all times. Please check the latest stadium policies for more info.
As the race for the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs narrows, this Saturday's game presents another tight match-up for Portland. With a record of 10-9-6, Real Salt Lake currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference on 36 points, only one place and one point behind fifth place Portland who are on 37 points. Meanwhile, the LA Galaxy are in fourth on 38 points.
RSL come to the Rose City having won their last two matches and three of their last four, most recently defeating Seattle Sounders FC 1-0 on Sept. 18. Portland last faced Salt Lake on August 7, winning 3-2 at Providence Park behind goals from Dairon Asprilla, Yimmi Chara and Felipe Mora.
With former head coach Freddy Juarez having departed midseason for a position with Seattle, RSL is now led by interim head coach Pablo Mastroeni. Since taking charge in late August, Mastroeni has a record of 3-2-0.
The 41 goals scored as a team is good for second in the Western Conference with 11 different goal-scorers on the roster. Leading the charge for the Claret-and-Cobalt is All-Star forward Damir Kreilach who has 10 goals on the campaign along with five assists. Rubio Rubín, who played his high school soccer in Beaverton, has seven goals and four assists. Ecuadorian winger Anderson Julio also has six goals.
In the midfield, Albert Rusnák has started every match, is tied for the club-lead with nine assists and is no slouch in the goals category either, having scored seven times this year.
Homegrown players dot the RSL defense with defender Aaron Herrera being Rusnák's team co-leader in assists. Another Homegrown defender, Justen Glad has become one of the main players for Mastroeni's side with 22 appearances.
In goal, Homegrown goalkeeper David Ochoa has made 16 appearances for a 7-5-4 record to earn four clean sheets. Zac MacMath has played in seven matches in goal and has two shutouts.
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