RSL begins homestand against offensively-challenged Fire

3:01 PM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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Sandy, UT (Sports Network) - Real Salt Lake begins a four-game homestand on Saturday when the Chicago Fire invades Rio Tinto Stadium.

RSL enters the weekend in second place in the Western Conference, four points back of leaders FC Dallas following a 4-1 victory at Chivas USA.

Salt Lake has scored at least two goals in each of its last four matches, and has been creating a host of chances away from home, which midfielder Ned Grabavoy feels is a great sign.

"We talked a lot before the game about just trying to play simple and not forcing things," said Grabavoy, who netted two goals in the win over Chivas. "We knew we were going to find chances; it was just a matter of finishing them. We probably could have finished a lot more, but the fact that we are creating a lot of chances on the road is a real positive for us."

Salt Lake has played eight of its first 13 matches away from home this season, and with the club having earned three wins from its last four games, head coach Jason Kreis believes his men could really begin a good run with the next four contests coming at Rio Tinto.

"This should be our time," Kreis said of the upcoming homestand after the Chivas match. "It starts with what we did tonight and we look to roll forward with positive momentum for four home games in a row. We need to get on a roll here and get things going."

Chicago is a team that needs to get things going as well, especially in the offensive third of the field.

The Fire has lost its last three games, being outscored 4-0 in those matches, to extend its scoreless drought to 277 minutes.

A pair of 1-0 losses to Philadelphia in the past two weeks dropped the Fire just two points above last-place D.C. United.

And while offensive struggles have been a constant problem so far this season, goalkeeper Sean Johnson is encouraging his team to continue working and the results will follow.

"It is just one of those periods of time where everyone needs to stick together and keep working hard and I think it will come," Johnson said. "We got a great group of guys, we just got to do a little bit extra and that starts with me, with our back line going forward, everybody on the field has got to step up to another level. I think we are capable of doing that and it is something that we need to do next week."

Salt Lake has failed to score in any of its last three games with Chicago, but the Fire will have a lot of work to do in order to continue that streak.

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