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What we’re watching in RSL vs. San Jose

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Real host the Earthquakes in a midweek game at the RioT.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake takes on the San Jose Earthquakes at Rio Tinto Stadium this Wednesday night — and the ‘Quakes have not looked their best recently, with only two wins in their last six games. Real’s playoff chances are looking slimmer and slimmer, so if they can’t pull out a win at home, those hopes might be gone.

Plata back in the attack

After being rested for the game in Montreal, Joao Plata should start against San Jose. It was nice to see Lennon get more minutes, but he didn’t really impress. Plata is tied for top RSL goal scorer this season with six goals. He’s clearly been effective this year and his contribution should stand out when compared to the last game. I’m also hoping that Silva can keep putting in a goal each game.

Defensive struggles

Marcelo Silva is listed as questionable on this week’s injury report after an early exit from Saturday’s match. It’s surprising how quickly we’ve come to rely on him in the backline. Even with the solid partnership of Glad and Horst, Marcelo Silva will be missed. It’s becoming more and more apparent that Wingert struggling on the left wing. Demar Phillips is listed as questionable for this game, but Acosta should be ready to go. I hope to see Acosta get the start, but Petke’s preference seems to be for Wingert. If RSL can come out with a solid and clear defensive plan, barring any injuries, this should help steady the ship.

Missed midfield connection

Beckerman and Sunny had a poor game on Saturday. After the last six games, they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt, but their performance is something to watch. If they can keep their passing sharp, help cover the defense, and still contribute to the attack, we’ll be in good standing. Look to see how Rusnak can distribute the ball from the top of midfield to the forwards. Silva will be central with Savarino and Plata on the wings, so Albert should have good options to move the ball forward.