The Columbus Crew take on Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night (9:00 pm). The Crew are currently 8-6-7 (31 points), and in a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia Union. Salt Lake is 9-3-6 (33 points), and in fifth place in the West.
Columbus most recently played Portland on Saturday, winning 1-0 at home. Salt Lake also played on Saturday, beating the San Jose Earthquakes, 4-0.
Prediction: Crew 1-1 RSL
Real Salt Lake will not be full strength. Last year’s MLS Defender of the Year, Jámison Olave, was injured in Wednesday’s MLS All-Star game and will not play. Forward Álvaro Saborío was fined and suspended one game for a diving to win a penalty kick against San Jose last week. The Crew has always struggled in Salt Lake, but I think they can come home with a valuable away point.
Columbus Crew – OUT: DF Josh Williams; DF Shaun Francis; MF Dilly Duka; MF Tony Tchani; DOUBTFUL: GK William Hesmer; FW Emilio Renteria; MF Rich Balchan; QUESTIONABLE: FW Jeff Cunningham; FW Andres Mendoza
Real Salt Lake – OUT: MF Javier Morales; DF Jámison Olave; MF Nelson González; GK Kyle Reynish; DOUBTFUL: FW Paulo Jr.; QUESTIONABLE: FW Álvaro Saborío; PROBABLE: MF Jean Alexandre; DF Tony Beltran