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What we’re watching in Minnesota United vs Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake head to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to take on a leaky MNUFC

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake’s first ever game against MLS newcomers Minnesota United came on April 1st, 2017, and like the date upon which it fell, was a bit of a joke. My impression of that match was riding shotgun while my wife drove the two of us into Yosemite National Park as the game began. Service was spotty but I saw that Luke had scored. The breathtaking views and lack of reception caused me to turn off the game. I looked at the score the following day; a 4-2 loss to a fairly poor expansion team. This season sees the home side a full ten points behind RSL, but both teams have shown improvement over this time last year.

Transitions

In each of the last two home games, RSL scored from quick transitions. Having won the ball in their defensive third, a few good passes allowed strikers to find the back of the net. Head coach Mike Petke said the team was not a counter attacking team, but feels their good at transitions. It would seem that they’re getting better at this. With fast, youthful players on the squad, this style of play is ideal for their strengths. I’m curious to see if this can be a regular source of goals rather than a few rare moments.

The Middle

Albert Rusnak and Damir Kreilach are safe bets to be in the team’s starting 11. In an unusual instance, captain Kyle Beckerman was benched in the first home game last week. Sunny preformed well in his stead. The question for tonight is will we see Kreilach paired with Beckerman or Sunny? Sunny has a bit more speed, but Kyle’s decision making is a little stronger. Kreilach is looking better and better in this role and is one to watch as well. The midfield is getting to a spot that it feels like a good problem to try to fit all these players in.

Frankfurt bump

After Tuesday’s international friendly with German side Eintracht Frankfurt, Petke may have some good questions to deal with. Namely, does he call up any of the guys he saw in the game? The team played well and didn’t look overwhelmed by the Bundesliga club. They even had right to feel hard done by with a last minute equalizer from Muller (no relation). This is the kind of chance some players need to get noticed by the coach and prove they can fit in. Will that have any effect on tonight’s 18?

Injury Report

Out:

Beltran (knee 10/15/17)

Allen (knee 6/16/17)

Barry (knee 3/10)

Phillips (ankle 4/7)

Horwath (achilles 4/18)

Mulholland (back 5/2)

Lopez-Espin (knee 6/13)

Horst (achilles 6/26)

Sparrow (knee 7/2)

Predicted Line Up

Rimando

Lennon, Glad, M.Silva, Acosta

Beckerman, Kreilach

Savarino, Rusnak, Bofo

Baird