MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Real Salt Lake (6-3-2) at Union (6-3-3)
Saturday, 4 p.m. at PPL Park. TV: 6ABC
Most recent games: On Wednesday, RSL squandered a 1-0 lead and lost a 2-1 decision to Columbus in Ohio. The Union played to a 1-1 draw at defending MLS champion Colorado last Saturday.
Outlook: Real forward Jean Alexandre has been named the most recent MLS player of the week after a goal and assist in Saturday's 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. It was his first career MLS goal. Alexandre is the second member of his team to win the award. Javier Morales, now out with an ankle fracture, won the award in the second week of the season. Before the win over Vancouver, Real had scored three goals in its previous six MLS matches.
Danny Mwanga scored the Union's goal against Colorado, giving the second-year forward three in the past two games and a team-high four on the season. Nobody has scored more than two goals for Salt Lake.
Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando had only allowed four goals in his first nine games before surrendering two against Columbus, although one came on a penalty kick. Union keeper Faryd Mondragon has a 0.83 goals-against average, having appeared in all 12 games.
The Union are 4-0-2 at PPL Park while Salt Lake is 2-2-1 on the road. This was supposed to be the second meeting between the teams this season, but the April 23 game in Utah was rescheduled for Sept. 3 because Salt Lake was competing in the finals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
- Marc Narducci
WOMEN'S PROFESSIONAL SOCCER
Independence (2-2-3) at Western New York Flash (6-0-2)
Sunday, 6 p.m. at Sahlen's Stadium, Rochester, N.Y. TV: FOX Soccer Channel
Most recent games: On June 3, the Flash surged to a 2-0 lead in the first half against Sky Blue. However, Sky Blue roared back with two second-half goals to walk away with a 2-2 tie.
The next day, the Independence battled the Atlanta Beat to a 0-0 tie after outshooting their opponents, 17-3.
Outlook: The Independence have a chance to tie or win if it can find a way to contain Flash forward Christine Sinclair and midfielder Caroline Seger, each of whom scored against Sky Blue. Sinclair leads the team with five goals and four assists. Seger is right behind her with four and three, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Flash defense will have to keep an eye on Independence forward Tasha Kai and midfielder Tina DiMartino, who lead the team in scoring with two goals each. The pair, plus forward Lianne Sanderson (one goal, two assists), are ready to have a breakout game.
Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris in eight games has allowed an average of 1.13 goals a game for the Flash, while Independence keeper Val Henderson has allowed an average of 0.5 over two games.
Western New York is 4-0-1 at home. The Independence are 1-1-2 on the road.
- Bill Iezzi