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What we’re watching in Los Angeles Football Club vs. Real Salt Lake

RSL hope to get some revenge on the road at Banc of California Stadium

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake are hitting the road for the next three games. This double-game week starts in LA against “football club”. Los Angeles Football Club handed RSL their worst ever home defeat at the start of the season this year. Both teams are towards the bottom of the playoff teams and will want to gain as many points as they can.

Revenge.

First and foremost, I want each and every RSL player to remember the sting of that home loss in March. Since then, both sides of seen ups and downs, and now find themselves in fairly similar positions. Granted, LAFC haven’t won since beating Orlando City on July 7th, so they seem to be on a bit of a slide. RSL does a good and bad job of playing either up to, or down to, their opponents. I want to see the players go into Banc of California Stadium with a huge point to prove. Would asking for a 5-0 win for RSL be too much? If Real can focus their desire to not only win, but also to defeat LAFC, they have a good chance. Will we see that fire translate to the field?

Finishing.

RSL’s finishing hasn’t been great this year. Plata has the most shots on goal of anyone on the team, with 22 this season. He’s 21st in MLS for shots on goal, and leads RSL with 7 goals this season. That’s the same number he scored in all of 2017, and assuming he has at least one more goal in him this season, it’s an improvement from last year. Aside from Plata, there’s still a hole in the attack. It’s one we felt last year, and really since Saborío was traded away. Even without a new center forward, RSL has the pieces to score some impressive goals. Rusnak and Kreilach are both dangerous in front of goal. Baird has had a lot of success on top of being a non-stop ball of energy. Look to see who’s taking shots and who’s putting them on frame.

Brooks

I haven’t written a lot about Brooks Lennon recently. It seems like he’s quietly assumed the role of a very capable right back, and thus, a good player to watch during this game. The pressure coming from a guy like Rossi will be a difficult challenge for Lennon, but may reveal how much he’s improved in that position. Think back to the start of the season when Petke first played him as an outside back and compare that to tonight’s performance. Only time will answer if Lennon has transitioned into an outside back, or is simply a stopgap until Tony returns.

Injury Report

Out:

Beltran (knee 10/15/17)

Allen (knee 6/16/17)

Horwath (achilles 4/18)

Mulholland (back 5/2)

Lopez-Espin (knee 6/13)

Horst (achilles 6/26)

Sparrow (knee 7/2)

Predicted Lineup

Rimando

Lennon, Glad, M.Silva, Acosta

Beckerman, Kreilach

Savarino, Rusnak, Plata

Baird