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Surging Real Salt Lake chasing more vs. Dynamo

Apr 23, 2022; Portland, Oregon, USA; Real Salt Lake defender Justen Glad (15) takes a shot on goal during the second half against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake will aim for their third consecutive victory on Saturday night when they host the Houston Dynamo, who are playing their third game in seven days.

Real Salt Lake had nearly a week to prepare for Houston after a 2-1 upset victory at CF Montreal on Sunday.

After conceding in the opening minute, RSL (6-3-4, 22 points) got even on Justen Glad’s corner-kick header early in the second half and took the lead on Sergio Cordova’s low finish in the 66th minute.

That score would hold, lifting RSL to fourth in the Western Conference standings entering the weekend.

“We went in at halftime and the halftime speech was just ‘Keep doing what we’re doing. Keep playing,'” Glad said. “We’re going to get our chances. If we stay solid in the back, we’re going to have a good shot at this game. I’m incredibly proud of the group. We showed a lot of fight out there and it’s a huge three points.”

Salt Lake remains without last year’s leading scorer Damir Kreilach (back). Recently re-signed winger Anderson Julio (hamstring) is questionable.

But Jefferson Savarino could make his competitive return. He was signed from reigning Brazilian league champions Atletico Mineiro earlier this month and scored 21 goals in a previous three-season stint at RSL from 2017-19.

Houston (5-5-3, 18 points) could use reinforcements of their own for the finale of a three-game, seven-day road trip that might be their most grueling stretch.

It began brilliantly with a 3-0 victory Sunday at the Los Angeles Galaxy. But then Paulo Nagamura rotated his squad heavily in the U.S. Open Cup and the club ultimately fell 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday in their Round of 16 clash.

“There are a lot of things that we can take as a positive,” Nagamura said. “As of now, it’s about assessing the players, making sure they are recovering. (There’s) not much we can do with so many games in a short period.”

Sebastian Ferreira scored his fifth goal of the league campaign against the Galaxy, tied with Darwin Quintero for most on the team. He was left out of the squad at Kansas City.

Houston is mostly healthy, although defender Zarek Valentin is in health and safety protocol.

–Field Level Media