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What we’re watching in NYCFC vs Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake travel to New York to take on the league leaders

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps at Real Salt Lake Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake have a quick turn around after Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Whitecaps. On the other hand, NYCFC last played on March 31, so they’re a bit fresher. New York has a second game on Sunday. This might mean we see some rotation in the NYCFC, or they might look to go heavy on their starters and get the win in front of their home fans.

Injuries, obviously

It’s been worse when it comes to injuries. Current injured list is: Beltran, Allen, and Peay as out, Barry, Mulholland, Phillips, and M. Silva are listed as questionable. Mike Petke noted that Plata picked up an injury during Sunday’s training, so it’s unlikely we see him.

As soon as Phillips went down injured against the Whitecaps, Acosta was pulled off the field during the Monarchs match. Danny could start at left back on Wednesday, but it would seem more in line with his recent treatment that he’ll be in the 18 as a sub.

Even with this list of injuries, RSL has what it takes to put together a formidable team. Henley had a good showing for his debut last week. Horst truly is a work horse and always puts in hard shift. Lennon may or may not be the future of right back for the USMNT, something Petke said not to write about. On the other side of the field, Baird is ready to go. He’s put in some great work and in his three games has two goals and an assist. Savarino got his first goal and here’s to hoping that that was the opening of a floodgate.

Sharper Sharpness

We saw a good performance from Kreilach on Saturday and he’s looking more settled. The midfield seems to be improving, but it still feels a long way off from the heights of late last season. If Saturday showed we can grind out a win, this game hopefully shows we can be sharp. We’re going to have to be if we hope to deliver NYCFC their first loss of the year. Watch how the midfield controls the ball and if they’re able to move it up field and control the game. No more sloppy passing, we need precision.

A winning mentality

This team has what it takes to beat NYCFC, even away. But only if they’re firing on all cylinders. If RSL go down a goal early, do we see a full collapse like we did against LAFC, or will they fight on and grind out a win? I don’t expect this to be the team’s prettiest game, and a draw would a fantastic result all things considered, but what I do want to see more than aesthetically pleasing soccer is a team that doesn’t give up. Are the players challenging for the ball, are they pushing up the field, are attackers getting back to defend? Is everyone giving 100%?

Predicted line up


Lennon, Glad, Horst, Henley

Beckerman, Kreilach

Baird, Rusnak, Savarino

L. Silva