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What we’re watching in Philadelphia Union vs. Real Salt Lake

RSL travel to the City of Brotherly Love in hopes of destroying the Union

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Real Salt Lake take on the Philadelphia Union and will be seeking their second win in a row. If RSL are to win, it would be their first consecutive win this season. The Union’s season hasn’t been dissimilar to RSL’s in that they’ve had a mix of inconsistent results.

Defensive Woes

RSL are the second worst in the league for goals allowed at 2.1 per game on average. RSL have been leaking more goals than Julian Assange (who is famous for leaking documents, which I understand is different than goals but a ship metaphor seemed weaker). As it stands, only three of the six players on this week’s injury report are defenders. Of those three, Beltran is the only starter. This means they should have the tools they need to not concede goals at the current rate. Part of me wonders if this shows that Petke may be a great motivator, but is not the strongest tactician. I want to believe there is a purposeful plan here, but we’re ten games in and I can’t see it. As players come back from injury, we need starters getting their starts.

The Plata shake up

Joao Plata is listed as questionable on this week’s injury report, so that could be a significant change to the attack. The front three have built some real chemistry with Baird at the point of the attack, but with Plata missing from the wing, it could be a big change. The most likely solution would be to push Corey to the left and bring in Luis Silva into his old spot as a false 9. An empty bucket approach could work well given how Corey likes to get up field. We could see a larger departure from this season’s form and Baird would stay at the 9 with Savarino on the left and Lennon (finally) moving to the right wing.

Injury List

OUT

Beltran (knee 10/15/17)

Allen (knee 6/16/17)

Barry (knee 3/10)

Phillips (ankle 4/7)

Horwath (achilles 4/18)

QUESTIONABLE

Plata (quad 5/12)

Predicted Line Up (overly optimistic edition)

Rimando

Henley, Glad, M.Silva, Acosta

Beckerman, Kreilach

Baird, Rusnak, Savarino

L.Silva