Real Salt Lake star Justin Meram was keen to emphasize the quality of his teammates after reaching 50 goals and 50 assists in Major League Soccer last time out.

The in-form Claret and Cobalt now look forward to a meeting with FC Dallas on Saturday.

Meram helped himself to two assists during RSL’s 3-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City, bringing up his double half-century in an impressive win for the Western Conference’s third-place side. He was quick to recognize, however, that his achievements have been aided by the quality of his teammates, pondering;

“60 and 60? I’m not sure. I’m just going to keep working hard with this group,” Meram said. “Individual awards are good, but they never happen without the team. This organization took me in back in 2020, when I didn’t know where my future was going, and it really gave belief for me and my family.

“It’s been an incredible few years and I’m very fortunate for everything this club has done for me in the latter stage of my career.”

FC Dallas, meanwhile, is without a win in seven matches after earning a credible 1-1 draw with Austin City, in which it conceded a late equalizer to leave the club sixth in the Western Conference.

Head coach Nico Estevez believes there were positives to take from that last outing, but knows his side must make the most of its improved performances to end a dire run of form.

“In the beginning we were a little nervous, but we were able to gain some confidence and we got ourselves into the game,” recalled Estevez. “We had a couple chances and in the counterattacks, we were able to hurt them. We have to score in certain plays of the match.

“We are living in a cruel moment of the sport, any mistake and any misfortune can affect us. Every time that we don’t punish a team, we get punished instead. That is part of the process and these players deserve better.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Real Salt Lake – Jefferson Savarino

With a goal and an assist last time out, Savarino has contributed to five goals in his first four home starts since re-joining Real Salt Lake (3 goals, 2 assists). Including his first stint with RSL, 20 of his 25 regular season goals have been scored at Rio Tinto Stadium.

FC Dallas – Paul Arriola

Arriola’s goal against Austin on Saturday was the 23rd scored by an American for FC Dallas this year, 11 more than any other team. A league-leading 74.2 percent of Dallas’ goals have been scored by Americans in 2022, and no other team has more than 50 percent of its goals from Americans.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– Real Salt Lake won its last two matches against FC Dallas last season, its first winning streak over Dallas since 2008-09. RSL has never managed three straight victories over Dallas in 46 MLS meetings.

– Real Salt Lake made it 10 straight home matches without defeat this season (W7 D3) with a 3-0 win over Sporting Kansas City on Sunday. RSL is one of two teams (also Philadelphia) without a home defeat this season. This is the fourth time in team the hosts’ history they’ve gone unbeaten through the first 10 home games of a season.

– FC Dallas’ winless run stretched to seven games following a 1-1 draw against Austin on Saturday (D4 L3). Dallas has held the lead in all four of its draws in that span, conceding equalizers in the final 11 minutes of each of those games.