Real Salt Lake takes on San Jose Earthquakes — the last team they found a win against — in a match that pits the two Western Conference eager for a win against each other.
With RSL's last loss — a 4-0 drubbing by New England Revolution — hanging heavy over the team, there will almost certainly be a concerted focus on maintaining consistency and coherency.
Real Salt Lake v. San Jose Earthquakes, 8 p.m.
Local television: KMYU
National television: Univision Deportes
What to watch
Wingers tucking inside
This week, Jordan Allen had some interesting comments on the importance of wingers tucking inside with Real Salt Lake's 4-3-3 system. Will this approach be made more clear against San Jose, or will the wingers still get shunted out wide unnecessarily?
If the wingers do get inside, that opens more room for full backs to get involved in the attack in wide positions, and it helps connect the midfield and the forwards — an area where RSL has struggled this season.
Who's the right winger?
We're still not sure if Jordan Allen or Luis Gil gets the start tonight, and that's because both present reasonable but not spectacular options. Gil has excelled in the middle of the park (although we'll discount that loss to New England as not at all his fault, so it's hard to say how that factors in), while Allen has been a good player out wide. But will Luke Mulholland get the start in the midfield, and will Javier Morales return?
All these questions factor in to who plays on that right wing. We're pretty certain it won't be Sebastian Jaime, as useful as he'd be.
Does Saborio get his feet under him?
While we're talking about right wingers, it's also worth noting that Alvaro Saborio hasn't exactly been at his best this season. He's been excellent in hold-up play — and that's a crucial element of the 4-3-3 — but he's also missed some clear-cut chances. If he gets his scoring boots on (to use an unnecessary metaphor) that helps Real Salt Lake in many tangible ways — but it also helps him less tangibly but just as much.