Real Salt Lake will be hoping to even up their win-loss record in MLS today with a match against Houston Dynamo — and in the process, they'll be trying to claw their way back above the ominous red playoff line.
What: Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo
When: 8 p.m. Mountain (7 p.m. Arizona), 10 p.m. Eastern
Where: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Live stream: MLS Live (subscription)
TV details: KMYU (2.2 OTA, 12 satellite, 22 Comcast); Root Sports SW
Chris Schuler has been taking training lightly recently, with Jeff Cassar talking about how he's played a lot of minutes. Returning to the lineup, though, could be Elias Vasquez, whose Guatemalan team crashed out of the 2015 Gold Cup.
Sebastian Jaime will be serving his suspension after receiving a red card against Colorado Rapids for a little bit of a face-push to Drew Moor.
Luis Silva might be available, but only on the bench. That's partly because he hasn't really trained with RSL yet in any significant way, and partly because he's "85 to 90 percent" fit. (That's much better than some indications from D.C. United supporters.)
Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando, and Demar Phillips remain out on international duty, and as such, won't be appearing. Alvaro Saborio won't be, either, given he is both still in the Gold Cup and is no longer a member of Real Salt Lake. (I suspect that will take some getting used to.)
Player to watch: Devon Sandoval
With Sebastian Jaime out, Sandoval's almost certainly going to be starting up top, with the only two remaining strikers, Olmes Garcia and Joao Plata, on either side of him. But don't expect him to stay in that position — he'll move around the forward line in some rotation that we've come to expect with Sandoval up top. This should open more chances for players like Garcia and Plata, and it should help to confuse defensive marking.
And while Sandoval hasn't scored a goal since a 4-1 loss to Montreal, he's been getting in good positions — and on one or two occasions, a split-second earlier run could have seen him on the scoresheet.
We'll want to see Sandoval more on the mobile side, as that's one of Sebastian Jaime's more important attributes that has helped the team recently. He's capable, but it means the team can't try to shoehorn him into a target forward role. His strong possession-oriented hold-up play will need to continue, though, as he tries to play one of the more nuanced positions in the game today.