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Major League Soccer
Mar 12, 2023 at 2.30am UK
Rio Tinto Stadium
AF

Salt Lake
1 - 2
Austin

Glad (22')
Kreilach (41')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Gallagher (9'), Wolff (34')

Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Austin FC - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Austin FC - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Real Salt Lake and Austin FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Real Salt Lake welcome Austin FC to America First Field for their first home game of the 2023 season in Major League Soccer on Sunday.

The Claret and Cobalt will be seeking revenge against the Verde and Black after losing on penalties in the playoffs last season.


Match preview

Following on from last season's seventh-placed finish in the Western Conference, Real Salt Lake kick-started the new campaign with a 2-1 comeback victory away against Vancouver Whitecaps.

However, the Claret and Cobalt were condemned to a 2-0 defeat against Seattle Sounders last weekend, with Jordan Morris and Heber scoring either side of half time.

Pablo Mastroeni will be keen to address his side's early struggles at the back, as they have already faced an MLS-high 37 shots after two games, including 19 in the defeat at Seattle.

RSL will hope to respond with a strong performance in front of their own fans on Sunday, and they can be confident of success having won both of their previous two home meetings against Austin, including a comfortable 3-0 victory in October last year.

Austin's second-ever MLS campaign in 2022 turned out to be one with plenty of highs as they finished second in the Western Conference – qualifying for the CONCACAF Champions League for the first time – before reaching the MLS Cup playoff semi-finals and losing out to eventual winners Los Angeles FC.

The Verde and Black made a losing start to the 2023 season, though, suffering a 3-2 home defeat against newly-formed franchise St Louis City before bouncing back with a slender 1-0 victory over CF Montreal last weekend, courtesy of an 88th-minute strike from Maximiliano Urruti.

Since then, Austin were dealt a major blow in their quest to reach the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-finals after suffering a 3-0 defeat against Haitian outfit Violette in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday.

Josh Wolff's side is sure to have one eye on the second leg next week, but they must first turn their attention to Sunday's MLS clash with Real Salt Lake, and they head to America First Field seeking to avoid a sixth straight MLS away defeat.

Austin have won three of their last four meetings with RSL, including the enthralling MLS Cup playoff first-round tie last year in which they came from two goals down to draw 2-2 before winning 3-1 on penalties.

Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer form:


Real Salt Lake form (all competitions):


Austin FC Major League Soccer form:


Austin FC form (all competitions):



Team News

Real Salt Lake will be without left-back Zack Farnsworth (thigh) and forward Axel Kei (ankle) due to injury, while midfielder Jasper Loffelsend is available to return after serving a one-match ban for spitting at an opponent on the opening weekend of the season.

The potential inclusion of Loffelsend will likely see Scott Caldwell drop down to the substitutes' bench, and the rest of Mastroeni's side could remain unchanged despite last weekend's defeat.

As for Austin, forward CJ Fodrey and centre-back Julio Cascante are both ruled out with respective quadricep and hamstring injuries.

Sebastian Driussi and new signing Gyasi Zardes were both rested in midweek and are expected to return to the starting lineup, replacing Rodney Redes and Maximiliano Urruti in attack, while Emiliano Rigoni is also set to be recalled at the expense of Ethan Finlay.

Real Salt Lake possible starting lineup:
MacMath; Brody, Glad, Silva, Oviedo; Loeffelsend, Ojeda; Chang, Kreilach, Savarino; Julio

Austin FC possible starting lineup:
Stuver; Lima, Ring, Vaisanen, Kolmanic; Pereira, Wolff; Rigoni, Driussi, Fagundez; Zardes


We say: Real Salt Lake 2-2 Austin FC

At least three goals have been scored in each of the last four meetings between Real Salt Lake and Austin, so an entertaining contest could be on the cards on Sunday.

The Claret and Cobalt will fancy their chances in front of their home supporters, but with Austin set to recall a number of first-team stars to their side, we expect the visitors to come away with at least a point at America First Field.

How to watch

You can watch Real Salt Lake vs. Austin FC and every MLS match this season live on Apple TV. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter MiamiInter Miami25165456391753
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati25153744331148
3Columbus Crew23127447222543
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls251011442311141
5New York City FCNY City2511593630638
6Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2510783027337
7Orlando City259793938134
8Toronto2693143447-1330
9Atlanta UnitedAtlanta2577113536-128
10Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia2569104542327
11CF MontrealMontreal2569103449-1527
12Nashville SCNashville2568112639-1326
13DC United2568113550-1526
14Chicago Fire2567123042-1225
15New England RevolutionNew England2372142347-2423

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy26147550361449
2Los Angeles FCLos Angeles24145548301847
3Real Salt LakeSalt Lake25128551341744
4Colorado RapidsColorado2612595043741
5Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver2411584335838
6Houston DynamoHouston2410773530537
7Seattle SoundersSeattle2510783429537
8Portland TimbersPortland2510695042836
9Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd2596104041-133
10Austin FCAustin2587102837-931
11Dallas2586113839-130
12Sporting Kansas CityKansas2666144152-1124
13St Louis City25411103246-1423
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes2542193161-3014
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