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Real Salt Lake-Toronto FC Preview

Aug 27, 2010 - 8:22 PM By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO STATS Writer

Real Salt Lake (11-4-6) at Toronto FC (7-8-5), 7:00 p.m. EDT

Real Salt Lake's momentum was halted with a stunning defeat its last time out. A visit to BMO Field may not be the ideal place to rebound.

RSL will try to beat Toronto FC on the road for the first time in four tries and sweep the season series Saturday night.

Salt Lake (11-4-6) put together a 6-1-5 stretch in all competitions before losing 5-4 at Mexico's Cruz Azul in a rain-soaked CONCACAF Champions League match Wednesday. RSL wasted a 3-1 lead with 15 minutes to play, as a frantic finish resulted in four goals after the 87th minute.

"We go out after the half and we didn't want to do anything stupid with the conditions and they stuck to their guns a little bit more because they had to," midfielder Kyle Beckerman said. "But now we've got to turn around and get our legs ready because we've got a big game on Saturday."

Salt Lake, second in the Western Conference, is 3-4-3 on the road in league play and returns to MLS action for the first time since a 2-0 home win over East-leading Columbus on Aug. 14.

Real is 0-2-1 at Toronto while getting shut out in each meeting. RSL won 2-1 in the teams' first matchup May 1.

Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio is trying to carry his own momentum back to MLS after scoring four goals in the last two Champions League games. He leads the team with eight goals but has one in the last five MLS matches.

Toronto (7-8-5) is trying to re-establish its success at home after having its 17-game unbeaten run at BMO field end with a 4-1 loss to New York last Saturday. The club didn't fare much better on the road Tuesday, as Nick LaBrocca and Fuad Ibrahim were ejected in a 1-0 loss to Arabe Unido in Champions League.

TFC's 6-1-4 home record in league play is a major reason why it is two points back of Colorado for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Toronto will again play without forwards Chad Barrett (groin) and Maicon Santos (knee). Barrett is second on the team with six goals, while Santos has one in five games.

The injuries may mean a third consecutive start in MLS play for Mista, who's failed to score in five league games. The forward, who joined TFC last month from Deportivo La Coruna of Spain, didn't play Tuesday after starting against New York and being removed at halftime.

"He is ready to go and is in good spirits," coach Preki told the team's official website. "He has looked good in training and will see some action for sure."