Real Salt Lake’s match tonight against Minnesota United might rightly be promising goals, but as always, every game is its own entity, and expecting too much might belie a real possibility: That no goals will be scored at all.
That’s not to be overly negative about this one, but the fact stands that Real Salt Lake will be going to Minneapolis looking for a result, not for a statement. Daryl Shore, who is no longer interim coach but will be leading the team on the sidelines, doesn’t have anything to prove, aside from wanting to keep the team in a good state.
What will be watching, then?
Again ... who’s actually going to play?
David Horst seems to have undergone some sort of surgery — a routine scope, we’ve been told. But that sure doesn’t make it seem like he’s going to start. But Chad Barrett’s out for a long while, too, and Justen Glad still hasn’t been training. Those are the three we definitely know will be out.
But likely to be out are Jordan Allen, Chris Schuler, and Tony Beltran, all three of whom have been limited in one way or another this week. Joao Plata’s probably in, though, which is a nice change from the last few matches — which isn’t to say we haven’t done well on the wing without him, but he’s a true game-changer.
Rimando; Wingert, Maund, Schmidt, Phillips; Beckerman, Mulholland; Lennon, Rusnak, Plata; Movsisyan
Bench: VanOekel, Beltran, Acosta, Sunny, Holness, Silva, Saucedo
After one or more matches without Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Albert Rusnak and Joao Plata, we’re going to have a big task ahead of us: Get those four involved and actively contributing. With some, it’ll be easier — we know Beckerman and Rimando will bring something to every game in which the play. With Rusnak and Plata, it’s a more difficult task.
It’s difficult, because we don’t want to just ignore the right wing. Brooks Lennon has been excellent out there, and shifting too much to the left might have unintended consequences. Really, it’s not just about Plata and Rusnak at this point, it’s about how the entire attack can come together in meaningful ways.
Hoof and hope?
If Real Salt Lake opts to take a clearance-heavy approach heading into this one again, we might feel a little better about it this time around. We’ve seen how Minnesota United are vulnerable out wide and in the channels between the full backs and the central defenders, and it would be wise of us to exploit that.
Perhaps we’re better off with Plata and Rusnak back in the side, though — we’re more likely to see a quick, incisive pass, and that could make all the difference.