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What we’re watching in FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake

RSL travel to Dallas and we’re hopeful for a good start to the new season

MLS: Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It’s finally here. The 2018 Major League Soccer season is upon us. This offseason was inarguably the most exciting offseason in club history with the opening of ZBRA, bringing on the Utah Royals, and some fantastic signings for both RSL and the Monarchs. Now the first team takes the field.

The last trip to Dallas was a complete and total disaster. We lost 5-1 to Houston and then 6-1 to Dallas on that trip. But that was last year. Head coach Mike Petke has had the bulk of last season and this preseason to make the club his own. And we like where he’s taking this team.

The Attack

Alfredo Ortuño signed from La Liga 2 and should be the center forward for this season. It’s hard to say if he’s ready to go. It can take time to adapt to a new league and new country. There’s a good chance that we see Luis Silva start in his impromptu position once again. I would say Silva exceeded expectations given our star forward did played far less than expected. Silva looked dangerous and effective throughout preseason and we didn’t see quite the same level from Ortuño. Whoever gets the start in this game by no means dictates who’s locked down the position for 2018, but I’m curious as to who starts and if the other sees the field as a substitute.

The outside backs

One of the many exciting signings this offseason was Adam Henley from Blackburn Rovers. Unfortunately, the right back picked up a hamstring injury on 2/22. He’s listed as questionable, so it’s unlikely he’ll start. Or he could be on the bench as a precaution. Either way, it will color what we see here. This could be the game where Herrera gets his first start for RSL, or perhaps we’ll see Phillips or Acosta in that spot.

There’s a real battle shaping up for who starts in the left back role. A good number of analysts are saying it’s Demar’s spot, but fans seem to be behind Acosta. We’ll learn a lot from who gets the nod and how they do in the match.

We’re pretty confident we’ll see Glad and M. Silva as the center back pairing. Those two did a great job last season and that’s the future upon which we want to build.

The new guys

No change in seamless. As we bring on new additions, it will take time for them to adapt. It’s likely we’re going to see a very similar starting 11 as we saw last year, right back being the likeliest exception. The substitutions are where it will get interesting. How do these players integrate into the team? Do they looks like they have an understanding of the system and confidence to go with that?

Predicted line up


Herrera - M. Silva - Glad – Phillips

Beckerman - Mulholland

Savarino -Rusnak - Plata

L. Silva