Match-Preview_1280x720

Atlanta United continues its homestand with a midweek match against Real Salt Lake at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday. 

It’s the second match in a row for Atlanta United against a Western Conference opponent. Last weekend, Atlanta United faced a tough loss at home to Austin FC, a side that entered the match with the best road record in the MLS.

For the second of three home matches, Atlanta United faces Real Salt Lake, a squad just one place below Austin FC in the conference table.  

“I think we have to continue to play the way we always want to play,” midfielder Matheus Rossetto said after training on Tuesday. “Just focus on us and have our heads in the right place. So that’s what I’m focused on, me and motivating all my teammates.”

Rossetto-Training-July-13

The Claret-and-Cobalt

Real Salt Lake is a Western Conference opponent based out of Sandy, Utah. The club was announced the 12th expansion side in MLS in 2004 and played its inaugural season in 2005. The owner at the time, Dave Checketts, asked Real Madrid for permission to use the authentic soccer name.

The club won the MLS Cup title in 2009.

  • Home venue: Rio Tinto Stadium, a soccer-specific venue
  • Main colors: Claret red, cobalt blue, gold
  • Head coach: Pablo Mastroeni

Two Straight Against The Western Conference

This season, Real Salt Lake is sneakily one of the top teams in the Western Conference. The club is 8-5-6 and currently has 30 points in the standings, good enough for third place in the conference heading into this week.

The club also arrives to Mercedes-Benz on a good run. Real Salt Lake has gone unbeaten in six of its last eight matches and recently beat their rival, Colorado Rapids, to keep the Rocky Mountain Cup in Utah. However, the team has not won a match in about a month. In its last three meetings, Real Salt Lake has lost once and earned two draws.

Wednesday marks the first meeting between Atlanta United and Real Salt Lake in over three years. Last time out in May 2019, Real Salt Lake won 2-1. The teams have only met one time at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2018, and Atlanta United won the contest 2-0.

Josef-RSLvsATLUTD-2018

One Good Result For The 5-Stripes 

Heading into the midweek match, Atlanta United has earned 20 points in the Eastern Conference table and holds a 5-8-5 record. 

The team has played 18 matches and has 16 remaining in the schedule, so there’s time for Atlanta United to string together some wins and make a push to get above the playoff line. Even after the tough home loss on Saturday, the club is putting its focus into playing the style of soccer it wants to play and will have a chance to do just that in front of a home crowd. 

“We’re in a good position to turn things around because I feel like we need just one good result to come back to, not normal, but be more confident and then enjoy the game more and have more fun out there,” head coach Gonzalo Pineda said after training on Tuesday.

Key 2022 Stats and League Ranking
Atlanta United
Real Salt Lake
Possession
58.5% (3rd)
45.0% (25th)
Pass Percentage
85.1% (1st)
78.2% (23rd)
Clean Sheets
3
7
Interceptions
157 (24th)
206 (5th)

Players To Watch 

Rocco Ríos Novo – The goalkeeper on loan from Club Atlético Lanús has stepped into the starting goalkeeper role for Atlanta United. He’s made 13 saves in five consecutive starts for the 5-Stripes. One of those starts was the club’s 2-0 victory against Inter Miami on June 19, a clean sheet that Atlanta will be looking to repeat on Wednesday when it looks to clamp down on defense.

Rocco-Rios-Novo-Save-Miami

Jefferson Savarino – The 25-year-old from Venezuela has been producing at a remarkable pace for the Claret-and-Cobalt. The designated player scored three goals in his last four starts for Real Salt Lake. He scored his first MLS goal on June 18 and on Saturday, he scored the first of Real Salt Lake’s two goals against Colorado. Savarino’s three goals this season is tied for best on the team.

Other Tidbits