Real Salt Lake are in good form. They have three wins in a row and will be seeking a forth. The Impact are on 21 points, but have played two more games than RSL (13 games). The Impact’s points per game is 1.4, whereas RSL’s is 1.46. Montreal have only lost one game at home this season. This week will be a big test for Real as it the first of two away games this week.
After the win against Atlanta, head coach Mike Petke said they have three different lineups mapped out already and there will be rotation. We haven’t seen all that much rotation this season, more adjustments through injury and Brooks Lennon losing his starting spot on the backline. Three games in a week’s time means rotation. The MLS schedule this season is shorter but with the same number of games, so it will be key to manage these double game weeks if the team wants to stay strong throughout the season.
It will be very interesting to see this lineup versus last weekends, and then who starts against the Red Bulls at the weekend. Petke is likely to mark his former club, the New York Red Bulls, as the stronger of the two teams they face this week. RBNY have taken five wins in their last seven games, and recently won the Supporters Shield. That will factor into who starts tonight in Canada. This will be a big test for Petke — how does he manage his player’s minutes and is he able to match who will tactically do well against their opponents through this stretch?
Real Salt Lake are in good form. They’ve won three in a row. Of those three wins, beating a struggling Rapids team is expected, beating a decent Toronto team is a good result, and beating the reigning MLS Cup champions is fantastic. The worst performance of those three was away to Colorado. It could simply be that RSL was coming off of two losses, or it is could be that they were away from home. That game showed the most weakness, having allowed two goals.
Montreal, on the other hand, isn’t in particularly good form. Their last three games were a loss, a draw, and another loss. Piatti, their talisman striker, may be injured again. While you don’t want to see a player get injured, it would certainly help RSL if they didn’t have to face such a talented goalscorer. The Impact are far from dead in the water though. They’re ahead of RSL on points and RSL has always struggled in Montreal.
Will Real’s strong form give them enough confidence to get a win away from home? A good result in Montreal could be huge towards a good result this weekend in New York. Can the team continue to build on their recent success?
Coming in clutch
A last minute game winner from Jefferson; two absolute screamers in two different games from Bofo. We’re seeing the attack regain their form and that has been a lot of fun to watch. 2018 was the second most goals Real Salt Lake had ever scored in a season, and yet they didn’t have a true center forward. They’ve scored 8 goals in 3 games (and taken all possible points in those games).
Then there’s Sam Johnson. He hasn’t started the last two games. The first of which was because he was late to a team meeting. I would expect him to start this game as he’s well rested. He’s also a player that is hungry, and that’s needed on the road.
Bofo and Savarino seem undroppable after that last game, but there’s a good chance one of them doesn’t start. Rotation may be heaviest at the attacking spots and that’s not a bad thing. RSL has a lot of attacking talent and this is a chance to see some fresh faces contribute.
Allen (knee 6/16/17; Season Ending)
Beltran (knee 3/15/19)
Beckerman (hamstring 5/2/19)