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Real Salt Lake – Earthquakes Preview

SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake can set a record against the San Jose Earthquakes when the two teams resume MLS regular-season play on Saturday.

Salt Lake (7-7-1) is riding a six-game MLS winning streak inside Rio Tinto Stadium since suffering a 5-1 loss to Los Angeles FC in the home opener. That matches the club’s longest home winning streak, set during the 2014 season.

RSL has been virtually unstoppable during those six home games. It has outscored opponents 13-4 in those matches and had three clean sheets.

Some of the home magic could help Salt Lake bounce back from its most recent loss.

RSL fell 3-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy on June 9, snapping a three-game MLS winning streak for the club. Two second-half goals in a six-minute span from Zlatan Ibrahimovic doomed Salt Lake.

RSL players left the game feeling like defensive breakdowns after halftime prevented their team from carrying a four-game winning streak into the World Cup break.

“They just capitalized on our mistakes,” defender Justen Glad told reporters after the game. “I didn’t think any of their goals were that impressive. I thought they were all stoppable for sure and goals change games.”

San Jose (2-9-4) is looking to generate some positive momentum when the club travels to Utah. The Earthquakes endured a rocky stretch before the World Cup break. They are winless in their last six MLS games.

Danny Hoesen’s strong play up top has given San Jose at least one highlight in an otherwise tough season to date.

Hoesen helped the Earthquakes snap a four-game losing streak with a pair of goals in a 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution on June 13. He now has nine goals — tied for fourth among MLS players this season.

“We’re on the right track from the offensive perspective,” coach Mikael Stahre told reporters after the game. “But we concede too many goals. That’s the problem for the moment.”

Conceding too many goals is a shared problem between Salt Lake and San Jose. The Earthquakes have yielded 31 goals, tied for the most in the league. RSL has given up 29 goals, while only scoring 19. That scoring differential is tied for second-worst among MLS teams.

San Jose has not had much recent success in Utah. Salt Lake is undefeated in its last four home matches in the series, claiming a pair of wins and a pair of draws. The Earthquakes last won in the Beehive State in 2013.


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