FC Dallas (3-7-4) at Real Salt Lake (8-3-2), 8 p.m.
Sandy, UT (Sports Network) – FC Dallas is facing a tough task as the team attempts to snap its eight-game winless streak with a trip to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday to face a rested Real Salt Lake side.
Dallas saw its winless streak extended on Wednesday following a 2-1 defeat at the Chicago Fire as the home side rallied from a goal down to claim the win after Marco Pappa’s 63rd-minute goal.
The Hoops have earned only three points from their last eight matches, and if history is any indication, head coach Schellas Hyndman shouldn’t expect his side to leave Utah with much.
FCD has not won at Real Salt Lake since 2007, and the club is still looking for its first win away from home this season, posting a 0-6-1 mark on the road.
Making matters worse, Dallas will be without midfielder and second leading scorer Brek Shea, who will be serving the last game of a three-match suspension.
While Dallas will be playing its third contest in a week, RSL will be well rested having not played for two weeks.
Head coach Jason Kreis is hopeful the break will give his team a chance to rest both mentally and physically, and refresh the side, which is on a five- game unbeaten streak.
Salt Lake enters Saturday’s match one point back of the San Jose Earthquakes at the top of the Western Conference table after a 1-0 road victory at Seattle.
Kreis might have a rested group of players at his disposal, but he will be missing a key duo because of international obligations.
Midfielder Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando are both away with the United States, leaving Kreis with a pair of big shoes to fill.
With Rimando out, Kyle Reynish will get the call in goal and make his second start of the season between the posts, while Yordany Alvarez is expected to fill Beckerman’s position.
RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey is aware of how important Beckerman is to his team’s success, but he is also looking forward to giving Alvarez a chance to prove himself.
“Kyle, our captain, is the heart and soul of the team, so I don’t know that you can replace Kyle Beckerman,” Lagerwey said. “Everybody’s got to chip in a little bit to replace him, but Yordany Alvarez is a young player and we’re excited for him to get the opportunity. He did well in some instances for us last season, and we want to see him out there this Saturday and see how he does.”
Both Javier Morales and Chris Wingert have been battling injuries for RSL and will leave Kreis with a pair of late decisions to make regarding the availability of both players.