For the first time this year, you have a perfect opportunity to watch Real Salt Lake in a semi-competitive match. The team takes on New York Red Bulls today in a mid-day friendly, and yes — there is a stream.
- Time: 11 a.m. Mountain
- Location: Tucson, Arizona
- Stream: YouTube
- RSL vs. New York Red Bulls: Preseason scouting report
- 2017 Preseason Preview: What to expect from the defense
- RSL vs. New York Red Bulls: Three Questions with Once a Metro
- Nick Rimando is out with the U.S. Men’s National Team, so expect to see somebody young — but that was sort of inevitable anyway. Might we get our first glimpses at Andrew Putna and Connor Sparrow? Or will we start testing the likely second-choice goalkeeper, Matt van Oekel?
- Omar Holness could well be out with the Jamaican National Team, and while he could certainly use the minutes in preseason, national team minutes will help him along, too.
- Expect to see a handful of Real Monarchs players involved, but not too many. The club will want to start trying some of the younger homegrown players against MLS sides, and this is a good opportunity.
What are we watching for?
Jake Vaughn shares some of the things he’ll be looking for in today’s match.
Hopes are high that young guys like Jordan Allen, Sebastian Saucedo, and Brooks Lennon will step up and make major contributions this year but one small question remains...where will these guys line up?
Allen has been rumored to play just about every position save goalkeeper in his few years in an RSL kit, and Saucedo, Lennon, and Luis Silva are all skilled attackers who can play multiple spots. It still hasn’t been determined if Danilo Acosta’s future is as a center back, center mid, or potentially an outside back. This game won’t give us definitive answers, but will at least give us an idea of what the coaching staff has in mind for some of the newer guys.
Hell or High Water
One of the most interesting reveals in the early season will be to see what pace RSL plays at and how direct they are going to goal. Yura Movsisyan demonstrated his wheels early and often last season, and should lead a team that will look to press high and create chances off turnovers.
NYRB provides an interesting matchup in this regard as that has been their modus operandi since Jesse March took over, and they have done it better than any team in the league over the past few years.
Manchester by the Sea
I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but RSL found a new number ten this year, a kid named Albert Rusnak and I have confirmed through multiple sources that he A. does play soccer and B. Is so good at it that people pay him to do so. I have also heard through less reputable sources that he knows magic and can possibly airbend.
We might not see much in terms of pure production in this game, but will at least (hopefully) catch a glimpse of his style. Will he flare out wide and look to cut in from the wings, or stay central and camp in zone 14? Will he drop back to receive the ball, or push high into the box as a pseudo 2nd forward? Hopefully these questions and more will be at least partially answered when the Claret and Cobalt take the field against New York Red Bull.