Real Salt Lake notebook: RSL faces D.C. United on the road

Published: Friday, March 8 2013 7:35 p.m. MST

Chris Schuler de Real Salt Lake durante su segundo partido de preparación de pretemporada ante el equipo de la Universidad de California-Irvine el lunes, 4 de febrero, 2013.

Marlin Agoub,

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As the manager of Real Salt Lake, Jason Kreis has compiled a solid 5-3-2 record against D.C. United.

Call it a case of the homesick blues, but Kreis and his lads have yet to get a victory at RFK Stadium since his tenure as RSL manager began in 2007.

In fact, the Claret and Cobalt has failed to get a victory in nine all-time visits to the nation's capital.

"I think that it's more difficult to travel across this country and play matches than people give it appreciation for," said Kreis, whose team is coming off a stellar 2-0 victory at San Jose last Sunday.

"I think our guys are in a really good spirit right now. They're feeling very fit and strong, so hopefully we can get rid of any of those doldrums or worries we've had there in the past," said Kreis.

Saturday's match will be another test for defender Chris Schuler, who along with Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Kenny Mansally and Tony Beltran, effectively shut down the defending Supporters Shield 'Quakes on the road.

Schuler was dubbed coach Kreis' performer of the match this past week, and will be in the spotlight yet again as the club looks to fight off a D.C. United team coming off a 0-2 loss at Houston.

"D.C. are scratching for a win at home, so we are going to be doing the same thing — just fighting as hard as we can," said Schuler. "The soccer will prevail if we can go out there and match or set the intensity."

Luckily for Schuler, he'll have RSL 'keeper Nick Rimando as a last line of defense — should things get out of hand. Schuler played a big role in helping Rimando clinch a 100th shutout, as the 'keeper only had to save a pair of San Jose shots on goal.

"It's a testimony to how good Nick really is. You talk about these pieces that we are missing, and now we're focused on the pieces we have like Nick Rimando," said Schuler. "It's an honor and a privilege to play next to someone like that."

13 AND COUNTING: Rimando returns to his former club D.C. United, where the 'keeper recorded 29 of his 100 career shutouts. Since his trade to RSL in 2007, Rimando has compiled an impressive 64 shutouts for the Claret and Cobalt and is reasonably within reach of Kevin Hartman's all-time record 112 shutouts in MLS.

When asked about closing in on the all-time record, Rimando was cautiously optimistic his time would come.

"I don't want to think about it too much, but it's definitely reachable — depending on how long I play. I think I have a lot left in my tank, and I think I will be able to get there with the help of these guys."

ON THE MEND: After missing the season opener, RSL will yet again be without usual starters Javier Morales (knee), Nat Borchers (knee), Chris Wingert (knee) and Ned Grabavoy (family matter).

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