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RSL vs LA Galaxy: What we’re watching

A weakened LA Galaxy take on a, well, weakened Real Salt Lake.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at LA Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In Real Salt Lake’s third game of the season, we host LA Galaxy. While RSL have made significant changes since last year, the Galaxy’s changes, both on the field and off, are far greater. LA has lost several key players and a coach (plus much of the coaching staff) who defined that club for many years. Real is dealing with many injuries, but LA also have to deal with an injury to Giovani dos Santos and team captain Jelle Van Damme is out with a red card. This game largely becomes about depth for both rosters and this is what we’re looking for in this match.

The Injured

On the defensive side, this week’s injury sheet included Justen Glad, who won’t play, and Demar Phillips, Aaron Maund, and Chris Schuler, who are all listed as probably. Chris Kamrani reported in the Salt Lake Tribune that Horst is dealing with some general soreness. Justin Schmidt did surprisingly well in Chicago, so we could see him in center back again. Maund, Schuler, Horst, and Phillips all trained with the team this week, so they could play, but we really won’t know until the line up is released on Saturday.

Further upfield, Beckerman is listed as Probably and I think we’ll see him start. Plata and Allen are listed as questionable and it seems less likely that we’ll see them.

The two in a 4-2-3-1

Assuming that Beckerman starts, who is beside him in the d mid role? Sunny’s last game was abysmal. I like Sunny and thought it was hard on the team when he went out last year with injury. However, he didn’t look great in preseason and gave away the ball so often against Chicago it’s hard to justify starting him over Mulholland. Luke’s performance last week and showed many of his best qualities. But Luke also has a tendency to make poor passes. It’s possible that we see Silva or Holness, but that seems unlikely. Whoever starts in that position needs to be cleaner.

The Kids

With Allen and Plata out, this opens up spots for guys like Brooks Lennon, Sebastian “Bofo” Saucedo and Ricardo Velazco. This is both really exciting and a bit nerve racking. It’s odd to say that LA is a team where we can try new things out, but with two losses and two stars out for the Galaxy, this might be the time. Plus, we don’t really have another option.

Yura hasn’t looked sharp yet and has yet to find the back of the net. While I do want Yura to start scoring a ton of goals, can one of these players leave their mark on the scoresheet?

I want to see who Cassar starts and who can deliver. Are Lennon and Bofo going to play as well as they did for the U-20s? If Phillips doesn’t start, are we going to put in Acosta over Wingert? This is a chance for the kids to step up.