St. Louis City SC is already making a strong first impression in its inaugural MLS season.
The newest MLS club is enjoying a historic run heading into its match against Real Salt Lake in Sandy, Utah, on Saturday. St. Louis is the first expansion team in MLS history to begin its debut season with four straight victories.
City SC (4-0-0, 12 points) reeled off wins over Austin, Charlotte, Portland, and San Jose while averaging nearly three goals per match. St. Louis has outscored opponents 11-4 this season. Only Atlanta has scored as much as City SC through the season's first few weeks.
A 3-0 victory over San Jose last weekend gave St. Louis goalkeeper Roman Burki his first clean sheet of the season.
"You could see Roman was itching for the clean sheet," City SC coach Bradley Carnell said. "He really wanted this one badly. We gave him a ball in the locker room congratulating him on his first clean sheet. But I thought it was a total team performance."
Salt Lake (1-2-0, 3 points) is still trying to figure out how to be a more complete team.
The Utah club is trying to end a two-game streak where it has managed just a single goal. RSL fell to Austin 2-1 in its home opener two weeks ago. Justen Glad got Salt Lake on the board in the 22nd minute with his second goal of the season. But RSL failed to really pressure the goal after the first 30 minutes and is left seeking answers on offense.
"I think goals change games, and I think if we find the second one there, it changes the game," Salt Lake coach Pablo Mastroeni said. "Obviously, we weren't able to capitalize on that. And I think the frustrating part was the amount of space we left in the middle of the field."
This will be the first meeting between the two Western Conference clubs.
--Field Level Media