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What we’re watching in Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Real Salt Lake

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RSL are on to road to take on the Whitecaps on decision day

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

It’s the final day of regular season and Real Salt Lake are hoping to get a home playoff game. They’re taking on the Vancouver Whitecaps, who have already been eliminated from playoff contention. RSL have struggled get any kind of result in Vancouver, but the Whitecaps have struggled so much this year, it’s a good chance for three points on the road.

Who scores

Last weekend, RSL hosted the Houston Dynamo. Damir Kreilach played as the center forward/false 9. Kreilach isn’t terrible in that role, but it’s certainly not his best position. The struggle with RSL’s roster is it’s difficult to fit Damir and Rusnak on the field without sacrificing one of them to a less than desired spot. Kreilach should be more of a box to box role, but with Everton and Beckerman always starting in the midfield, we see either Damir on up top, or Rusnak on the wing. Neither is great.

Seeing Bofo assist to Jefferson for RSL’s second goal was exactly what we want to see from our wingers. The two of them together bring such great interplay that they should be given more time on the field together. It’s important to note that Corey Baird scored an incredible goal during to first minute of RSL’s game last weekend. Then there’s Sam Johnson. He hasn’t scored in a few months. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad player, he’s clearly a gifted player, but he has some limitations and needs a specific type of service in order to score. He simply hasn’t received that kind of service.

Real Salt Lake has plenty of options in the attack, and they don’t always fire on all cylinders but they need to figure that out quick if they’re going to make a deep run into the playoffs.

Subs

In RSL’s 2-1 defeat to LA Galaxy, interim head coach Freddy Juarez used all three subs, including bringing Corey Baird on for Sam Johnson early enough for him. RSL lost that game. In Real’s 2-1 win over the Dynamo, the team used only one stub and went on to win 2-1. Results aside, RSL should use all three subs and give those players enough time to have an affect on the game. The Houston sub was a smart one; Bofo provided the assist that won the game and Kreilach was looking a little gassed. Bringing Plata on for Baird could’ve been good too. If Bofo was able to bring that kind of energy, more of that sort of thing will help the team greatly. In a game that could, and probably will, make the difference between a home playoff game and a road game, it’ll be interesting to see how Juarez uses his substitutes.

What’s happening around the league

In 2018, decision day meant that RSL had to watch the games on TV and hope they made it in. Houston needed to beat the Galaxy in LA, and they were down at the half. Somehow, the Dynamo came back and RSL made it in. This year, the team is already in, but could have a home game if they overtake the Galaxy if they lose and RSL wins. They could also over take Seattle should the Sounders lose and RSL win. If Minnesota United lose and RSL wins by a margin of 6 or 7 goals, then they host a home playoff game. There’s also an outside shot the Rapids make it in, so you’ll want to watch that game closely as well.

Injury report

OUT:

Allen (knee 6/16/17; Season Ending)

Beltran (knee; 3/15/19)

Besler (foot; 8/10/19)

QUESTIONABLE:

Mulholland (back; 8/22/19)

PROBABLE:

Martinez (hamstring; 9/18/19)

Predicted lineup