Real Salt Lake are back home and hosting Orlando City SC. Orlando’s results haven’t been great this season, two wins, two losses, and two draws. Their wins were over the Red Bulls and the Rapids. They have twice the points with eight and twice the goals with ten over Real. Can RSL bounce back after four straight losses to give their fans a win at home? Will we see the flag planted at the south goal?
An overcrowded attack
Real Salt Lake has been blessed with a great number of attackers, many of whom are wingers. It’s a good problem to have, but figuring out how to fit everyone on the pitch is a challenge. Now that Kreilach is back after a red card suspension and Plata has returned from injury, who starts and who even makes the bench is a big question. Johnson had an impressive showing in Seattle even if he didn’t score. Bofo has made a strong case for why he should be seeing more minutes. Baird, Savarino, and Rusnak are all solid. The best strategy may be to bench Beckerman and let Kreilach play alongside/ahead of Everton, then Rusnak can return to the 10 role, with Johnson at center forward. Early subs could help give player meaningful minutes, but with RSL only scoring 5 goals in six games, we need to see more from the attackers.
Acosta was recently loaned to Orlando City after losing his starting spot to Aaron Herrera last season. The RSL Academy grad started the first three games of 2019 for Orlando, but failed to make the 18 in their last three games. It feels like a familiar pattern, however, Joao Moutinho is the man who supplanted Danny in the left back position. Per Acosta’s Instagram story, he did travel with his team to Utah. Will we see him get minutes at Rio Tinto Stadium, this time on the other side of the ball? Should he see playing time, I’m curious to see how he interacts with his former teammates and the RSL fans.
A need for a win against a team RSL can beat
RSL have had two terrible games this season; DC United and FC Dallas. Both games involved red cards. While the team lost in LA and Seattle, each game was decided by a single goal. A loss is a loss, and the team still stands on a mere four points in six games. But they stayed in those two games until the end. The team clearly collapsed in DC, and a bit against Dallas, but if they can keep a never say die attitude, that could be all the difference. Can the team fight for the full 90 and pull at a home win?
Allen (knee 6/16/17)
Holt (ankle; 3/30/19)
Silva (hamstring; 4/6/19)
Mulholland (back; 4/2/19)
Henley (ankle; 3/19/19)
Beltran (knee, 3/15/19)