clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Five reasons to be excited about Real Salt Lake and their new formation

With a new formation on the cards for Real Salt Lake's 2015 campaign, we're taking a look at five major reasons we're excited about the shift and what it could bring to the game.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Natural width in attack

For many years, Real Salt Lake has struggled to find a good, reasonable way to inject width into the attack. Whether that was from full backs bursting forward, midfielders jutting out wide, or one forward sticking out wide even when it didn't make sense to, the diamond midfield with two forwards atop it never really gave an opportunity for natural width. Three forwards solves that particular problem, but it does introduce some issues of its own with which to deal.

Overlapping runs from fullbacks

Speaking of width, this goes right along with it. We've rarely been a team to have real overlapping runs from our fullbacks, and with this approach, we can start to see it. Tony Beltran, Abdoulie Mansally, Demar Phillips, and Jordan Allen will all get chances to get forward and interchange with forwards. Expect the positional assists measures to increase significantly.

More goalscoring potential

Three forwards on the pitch generally means that more forwards end up with a share of the goals, even if it doesn't correlate to a better strike rate for the team. Still, having more goalscoring potential on the field does mean that we have a better chance to score from the run of play, which is one area Real Salt Lake could have improved last season.

Get players in their best positions

After injecting some variety into Jason Kreis's 4-4-2 last year, Jeff Cassar is turning the system on its head a bit while retaining some of the advantages, too. Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, and Alvaro Saborio are all in positions that get something like the most out of them (we'll see how that plays out over the season, of course), but other players get a chance to play in positions they can excel at, too. From Jordan Allen, who excels on the flank, and Sebastian Saucedo, who can do brilliant things as a wide player, to Sebastian Jaime and Olmes Garcia, who are excellent cutting in from the flank and can provide new options.

Shake up the opponent

With such strong experience in the midfield diamond, it remains a possibility for Real Salt Lake moving forward, even if it doesn't see much time. That should do something to make opponents reconsider their approach against us — they can't just defend like they're going to see a 4-3-3, and they can't just defend like they'll see a 4-4-2. It'll change, morph and shift in transition, and that gives Real Salt Lake a distinct advantage.