RSL STAYS ON THE ROAD. No longer unbeaten after being thumped, 4-0, in Seattle last weekend, Real Salt Lake traveled straight to Columbus for its meeting with the Crew (live at 7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Direct Kick).
It’s not been a good time to be an RSL forward. Striker Alvaro Saborio, who left the team last month to train with Costa Rica in preparation for the World Cup, underwent surgery in Salt Lake City to have a screw inserted into his right foot to repair a broken fifth metatarsal. He’s out three to four months, yet head coach Jeff Cassar is just as strapped in the short term.
Devon Sandoval and Olmes Garcia went the full 90 on Saturday but expect Joao Plata, who sat out the Seattle game with a strained hamstring, to get significant minutes and perhaps start. He is tied with Saborio for the team lead with six goals. Robbie Findley was named to the Seattle game-day roster after making his 2014 debut as a sub the previous week yet is still recovering from offseason knee surgery and may not be available.
Midfielder Sebastian Velasquez was arrested last week for speeding and driving under the influence and is not on the road trip.
Columbus returns home after blowing a pair of one-goal leads in Toronto and then conceding again in stoppage time to lose, 3-2. Playmaker Federico Higuain is available after serving a one-game suspension against TFC: he’s the team leader in goals (6) and assists (5).
RAPIDS IMPROVEMENT. Deshorn Brown’s two goals powered Colorado past Houston, 3-0, last week. It blew out Montreal, 4-1, in its previous game, and would move into a second-place tie in the Western Conference if it can beat the Fire (live at 9 p.m. ET, MLS Direct Kick) and RSL loses.
The Fire battled to a 1-1 tie with the Galaxy last Sunday and heads out again on just two days’ rest. Chicago got its only goal when Quincy Amarikwa for the third time this season drew a penalty kick, which was converted by Jeff Larentowicz. In its previous game, it was blanked in Columbus, and will face Colorado very skimpy in the attack. Mike Magee (calf strain) and Patrick Nyarko (knee sprain, ankle surgery) are out, and head coach Frank Yallop cannot use Patrick Ianni (illness), Logan Pause (hamstring tightness) and Alex (hamstring tightness) as well.MLS WEEK 14, Schedule: