Real Salt Lake goes into another Rivalry Week, this week as they take on their Rocky Mountain rival, Colorado Rapids.
While the Rapids have started to go out and spend money and get great players, RSL has another chance for 3 points and potentially to take over the standings. Here are the biggest things to watch for this weekend.
The core returning, slowly but surely
RSL went into Sporting KC and earned 3 well-deserved points on the road without the likes of Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Burrito Martinez, Jamison Olave, and Nick Rimando. These core players, while important got an extra week of rest and should be fresh and ready to go. While the statuses of Nick Rimando and Javier Morales are unknown at this time, the return of these players can have a big impact on the team. With a starting 11 that many believed would not be able to salvage a point on the road, RSL is able to build off the incredible win and add these players into the lineup and it should help them win 3 more points at the RioT.
Glad or Olave?
Defending for RSL has been in question most of this season. While there have been times when Olave's defending is top notch, there are times that have been question marks in his ability to stay on the field or make good decisions on the ball. But his veteran experience can have an effect on the opposing teams' players.
Justen Glad has also been very reliable for RSL so far this season. Coming into two hostile environments and being able to put on a good showing and being an absolute disruption for the SKC offense and scoring a beautiful header of a free kick taken. The decision will be a tough one for RSL's coaching staff.
It has been a crazy start to the MLS season and RSL has had their fair share of the calls. They have had calls for and against them but one of the biggest points of discussion is the aggressiveness of the officiating in the start of the 2016 season. We do get that it is for the protection of the players and for the enjoyment of the game, there have been many inconsistent calls. For example, Luke Mullholland being tackled after taking a ball that was put back into play and then got a yellow card for. What that card was for, we will probably never now. Officiating can have HUGE implications on the game which should be interesting to watch against these two rival clubs.
Real Salt Lake's momentum is going in their favor and this weekend, against the Rapids should be just another game towards a great season.