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Three things to watch against San Jose Earthquakes

With Real Salt Lake and San Jose Earthquakes facing off on Sunday, we're looking at some of the things we'll be paying close attention to.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Who gets the start on the right wing? ... Just kidding. We've talked about that plenty, and you're welcome to read our coverage of that if you're so inclined. Instead, let's ask something more interesting.

Can RSL perform on the road?

It's not a terribly complicated question, really. Most teams — all teams, really, when it comes down to it — are worse on the road than they are at home. (If they're not, it's probably indicative of some larger issues at play.) We still haven't seen RSL perform well on the road, and part of that's because they've only had one stab at it.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers
Nick Rimando makes a save against Portland Timbers, with a clearance probably not far behind.
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

When RSL played in Portland, the shape wasn't quite right, and clearances were the special of the day. The team nearly doubled the clearances of any other team in the league on opening weekend. It played out well enough, but it's not a recipe for success.

With that in mind, can Real Salt Lake put in the right types of work? Can they keep the ball on the ground, move play, and create connections and options?

Can RSL keep a clean sheet?

Only in the opening game have San Jose been held without a goal, with their highlight undoubtedly being a 3-2 win over Seattle Sounders. (And no, that wasn't during the international break.) A pair of Chris Wondolowski goals and another from Innocent (Emeghara, but now he just goes by Innocent on his kit) indicate some true firepower from San Jose.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Seattle Sounders

Chris Wondolowski has scored three goals in 2015.

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

We talk a lot about what it means to mark someone like Wondolowski, but just as important as that is reducing the opportunities available. Can RSL keep San Jose from giving those opportunities to Wondolowski?

What can Luke Mulholland bring to the side?

If Luke Mulholland, as we think, does get the start against San Jose, what does he bring to the side? Can he improve his passing percentage? If we look at his passing percentage last week, we should also wonder if he can improve on it.

MLS: Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake

Luke Mulholland is a good midfielder, but what's his role with RSL's new system?

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Is his role going to take more a defensive bent, or will he play more of a shuttling role — more akin to what we saw from either side of the diamond? Or, if we expect that, are we applying incorrect criteria to Mulholland's play? Should we be reassessing what we know about these roles?