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

Real host Minnesota and the home side need to pick up points if they want to stay in a good playoff position 

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Real Salt Lake haven’t done well against Minnesota United FC in the past, winning only one of their three meetings. Minnesota have won both their home games against RSL, and likewise, RSL’s only victory came at Rio Tinto. The Loons sit 9th in the west, while RSL is in 4th. Can RSL get a much needed three points against a struggling MNUFC?

A settled starting 11

After frequent changes in the starting 11 this season, RSL seems to have found their best squad. It’s not a starting 11 anyone would have predicted. Playing Herrera over Acosta, Phillips having fallen off entirely, Brooks Lennon at right back still comes as a surprise. Then we have Damir Kreilach. Brought in as a defensive midfielder, but knowing he could go to the number 10 spot. Yet he’s proved highly effected as the center forward, even if he’s playing as a false 9. A hat trick against LA Galaxy is good evidence that this is working.

Double false 9s? Two number 10s? A half empty bucket? Whatever it is, it’s been working.

RSL head coach Mike Petke said that he didn’t define roles for Rusnak and Kreilach, but let them figure out how to make things work. They did exceedingly well against LAG, with Damir getting 3 and Albert getting 2 goals. The fluidity between these two has helped to pull apart defensive. If we can see Albert and Damir change roles with ease, this will help to confuse defenders and allow for the wingers to be more effective. Watch as they interchange those spots. I’m curious to see if one stays higher than the other, or how they sort out the roles between themselves.

New signings

With the Nedum Onuoha signing done, it’s hard to tell when he will actually take the field. There’s an outside chance we see him tonight, although unlikely. This is a good signing for RSL, and the experience and leadership he can bring to the backline is significant. I’m assuming we’ll see Glad and Besler paired up again. Look to see what weaknesses are evident in that partnership and if another player of Onuoha’s caliber can help solve those issues. I’d recommend watching some highlight videos of Nedum prior to this match to get a feel for the player. If he does start, how does he fit into the team?

Injury Report

OUT:

Beltran (knee 10/15/17)

Allen (knee 6/16/17)

Horwath (achilles 4/18)

Phillips (hamstring 9/10)

Horst (achilles 6/26)

QUESTIONABLE:

M. Silva (ankle 8/14)

Sparrow (knee 7/2)

L. Silva (groin 9/10)

Predicted Lineup

Rimando

Lennon, Glad, Besler, Herrera

Beckerman, Sunny

Savarino, Rusnak, Plata

Kreilach