Major League Soccer

Real Salt Lake-Rapids Preview

For the moment, a coaching change in Colorado has not changed the Rapids' fortunes for the better.

The winless Rapids look to avoid an eighth consecutive defeat Saturday night against visiting Real Salt Lake.

In its first match under interim head coach Conor Casey, Colorado (0-8-2) fell 3-2 in a wild home affair against Vancouver last week. Two goals by Kei Kamara enabled the Rapids to overcome a 2-0 deficit, but the Whitecaps' Andy Rose scored the decisive goal in the 87th minute as the home side played with 10 men following Diego Rubio's 77th-minute red card for hitting Vancouver's Doneil Henry.

Casey, a Colorado assistant and former player who helped the club win the MLS Cup in 2010, took over after Anthony Hudson was let go on May 1 amid the worst start in franchise history.

"We felt it was going to be the day, but once again we struggled and were on the other side of the fence," Kamara, who has scored half of the Rapids' 14 goals this season, told the club's official website. "We have another game to look forward to. It's not the end of the season."

Colorado lost eight in a row from April 21-June 9 last season. That slide began with a 3-0 defeat at Real Salt Lake, which outscored the Rapids 11-2 while going 2-0-1 for the season series in 2018.

RSL (3-6-1), though, is trying to avoid a third consecutive defeat following 2-1 setbacks to the Los Angeles Galaxy on April 28 and home to Portland last weekend. Sam Johnson equalized for Salt Lake in the 62nd minute against the Timbers, but Diego Valeri scored the eventual winner six minutes later.

Salt Lake also failed to convert a penalty kick in the 26th minute by Albert Rusnak. All six of RSL's losses this season have come over the last eight games.

"It's early in the season, teams go through spells," coach Mike Petke told Real Salt Lake's official website.

On the bright side for Salt Lake, Johnson has scored all three of his goals this season over his last four contests. However, it seems the swift striker would like to get more touches in his first MLS season.

"For every opportunity, I have to make the most of it, because in every game I only get one, maybe a maximum two," Johnson said.

Rusnak has recorded just two of his team-leading four goals over his last seven games. He had two with two assists versus Colorado last year.

The Rapids made some noise in the transfer department this week. They acquired U.S. national team forward Jonathan Lewis from New York City FC and defender Lalas Abubakar, on a one-year loan, from Columbus.

Updated May 9, 2019

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