Sunday, September 25, 2022
Al Rossi Sports Investments

MLS Preview: Sporting Kansas City (1-3-0) at Real Salt Lake (3-0-1)

Real Salt Lake knocked Sporting Kansas City out of last season’s playoffs with a 2-1 win at Children’s Mercy Park in the Conference Semifinals. RSL won all three meetings with Sporting in 2021, the first team to beat Sporting three times in a single season since Colorado in 2016.

Sporting Kansas City has lost three of its first four matches of a season for only the second time in club history after opening with four consecutive defeats in 1999 (including one breakaway shootout defeat). Sporting lost its first seven matches in 1999, including losing twice on breakaway shootouts.

Real Salt Lake’s 10 points through four matches is the second-best start to a season in club history, behind a four-match winning streak to open the 2011 season. RSL has never had more than 12 points through the first five matches of an MLS season (12 in 2011 and 2012).

Roger Espinoza scored his first goal since the 2020 playoffs in Kansas City’s loss to Chicago on Saturday. It was his first right-footed goal in MLS play since his first ever goal in the league in 2008.

Following an opening day draw in Houston, Real Salt Lake has won three straight matches, its first such run in the regular season since August 2019. RSL hasn’t run off four straight victories in MLS play since June 2013.

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