The Washington Post

D.C. United at Real Salt Lake

Greetings from the Wasatch Front — home of towering peaks, steep canyons, Temple Square, brine shrimp and Rio Tinto Stadium.

First, the news: Andy Najar didn’t make the trip because of abscessed tooth. Hamdi Salihi is out after straining a hamstring in training. And Branko Boskovic won’t play because of a virus. United hasn’t won here since 2005. Between the taxing schedule, travel, absences and poor form on the road, I’ve got a bad feeling about this one.

Back to the Utah ad­ven­ture, my first in two years: Salt Lake City is a fascinating place. It’s different, and I don’t mean that in a negative way relating to culture or religion. It’s unique, and because of that, it’s worth a visit.

I’ve been to Park City, so the priority this time was driving up and through Emigration Canyon. Mormon pioneers passed this way some 165 years ago before settling in the valley. The road from SLC winds past parks and a zoo and into the hills for breathtaking views of a reservior and the canyon. The most amazing sights, however, were the scores of bicyclists huffing up one way, blazing down the other.

The place to eat: Ruth’s Diner, which dates to 1930. The original structure at the canyon location was forged from an old trolley car.

After an hour wait for a table, I went with Trevor’s Potato Burrito, with a side of fruit and iced mint black tea.

Goes without saying: Better than press box food.

Kickoff: 9 p.m. ET.

TV: Comcast SportsNet (D.C.), Direct Kick, MLS Live.

DCU: Hamid; McDonald, Jakovic, Dudar, Korb; DeLeon, Kitchen, Saragosa, Pontius; De Rosario, Pajoy. Subs: Willis, Chabala, White, King, Neal, Santos, Tan.

RSL: Rimando; Beltran, Watson-Siriboe, Borchers, Wingert; Beckerman, Grabavoy, Johnson, Morales; Paulo Junior, Saborio.

Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are welcomed in our comments section.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.


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