Traveling to Chicago this weekend to face the Fire, Real Salt Lake has a lot more worries than we would like this early into the season. With different areas of concern for the trip to Chicago, here are the top three things to watch this Saturday.
The big one for RSL is injuries. With Aaron Maund and Demar Phillips being out last week, RSL was able to adjust defensively to have a decent showing. But after adding Chris Schuler and Justen Glad to the injury list, the defense will be a little tricky. Also a huge blow to RSL’s chances, Joao Plata is listed as questionable against the Fire. This could be difficult for continuity of the offense and chemistry building. Hopefully we are able to finish the season healthier than when we started it.
Goals have been something RSL was lacking towards the end of last season. While the opportunities were there last week, the final touch was not. Plata and Rusnak had clear opportunities, but their shots were either off-target or saved. With injuries plaguing the team, will someone else be able to step up and provide that finishing touch? It could be Sebastian Saucedo or Luis Silva if they start, replacing the injured Joao Plata if he is not able to play. There was some good chemistry between Rusnak and Plata last week, and we were hopeful that the pairing would get better over time, but we will have to wait to see that.
Justen Glad, Aaron Maund and Chris Schuler: three potential starting starting center backs are out for Saturday’s clash with Chicago. It’s safe to say that we can hit the panic button right about now. The defense had some shaky moments but was able to step up when it counted but, the team will be without last week’s starter Chris Schuler. We could potentially see Chris Winger take over that role. We will have to wait and see the lineups.
RSL take on the Chicago Fire on Saturday at 12 p.m., and there are many question that need answered and absences that need to be filled. Both the team and coaching staff will need to step up for RSL to come home with three points in the bag.