SANDY -- Just when it appeared that Real Salt Lake was finally regaining fitness and health, it's back to square one.
With leading scorer Alvaro Saborio sidelined with a right quadriceps tear, and fellow strikers Olmes Garcia and Robbie Findley questionable, the Claret-and-Cobalt enter tonight's home match with Vancouver with just two fully-fit and healthy forwards on the roster. That will likely leave Joao Plata and rookie Devon Sandoval as the two choices up top when Salt Lake kicks off tonight's match at Rio Tinto Stadium against the Whitecaps at 7 p.m.
Saborio and Findley were both late scratches in last weekend's 2-0 loss to Los Angeles after injuries suffered the previous day in training were deemed to be significant enough to hold the duo out.
"It's difficult as we've seen in that past, it's difficult if we don't have a target to play to up front. Someone like Sabo, someone who is going to stay central for us the majority of the time," RSL boss Jason Kreis said after that L.A. loss. "Garcia worked extremely hard and was dangerous all night. Plata had moments where he was dangerous, but they were playing so wide of each other in the first half that there was very few times that we could play to a forward in a dangerous position, to hold the ball up for us and to get more numbers involved in the attack. Tactically there is still a lot to learn from those guys."
Real and Vancouver played a 1-1 draw just three weekends ago in Vancouver, with RSL holding a 1-0 lead until a late -- and questionable -- penalty allow the Whitecaps to even up the match.
The series between the two sides is split at 2-2-2, with neither side having won a road match and is 2-0-1 at home.
While Salt Lake is coming off a 2-0 setback last weekend, Vancouver enters tonight on a six-match winless skid after drawing league-leading FC Dallas 2-2. The Whitecaps haven't won a road match since July 4, 2012 - a string of 13-straight road losses or ties.
Tonight's match is being marketed as 'Star Wars Day' with fans encouraged to dress in costume as their favorite character from the Star Wars universe for the 'May the 4th be with you' festivities.