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What we’re watching and how to watch: Real Salt Lake vs. Philadelphia Union

RSL host a very good Union side

A goat in his natural habitat.
Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Real Salt Lake haven’t had a bad season, but it hasn’t been as high-flying as the year Philadelphia Union have had. They’re top of the eastern conference and second in the Supporters Shield race. The organization have made some major changes that have allowed the team to success and now RSL face them at Rio Tinto Stadium.

More good defending, but without the brief lapse.

RSL are right to feel hard done-by after the loss in San Jose. They defended well through almost the entire match, but a quickly taken corner kick meant the difference between a valuable road point against a western conference team and walking away emptied handed and below the playoff line. Holt was everywhere during that game and generally impressed It was a busy week for RSL, but now they’ve had the full week off and we’re likely to see a backline of Toia, Glad, Silva, and Herrera. The major change being Onuoha out with injury, but Silva isn’t much of a drop-off in quality.

The Union’s attack has been very good, so this will be a major test for Real at home. RSL is a much better team at Rio Tinto, so that may make all the difference.

Goals

Real need to score some goals. The team’s leading goal scorer, Sam Johnson, is out with an injury this week. Corey Baird wasn’t particularly effective in a center forward role last weekend. I would like to see a front four of Bofo on the left wing, Rusnak at the ten, Savarino on the right wing, and Kreilach as a false nine. That’s similar to what we saw for much of last season and hopefully, that should see everyone in their most effective positions. How RSL line up in the attack will make or break this match.

A long shot

RSL veteran and all around good human Tony Beltran is no longer listed as injured. He will not start tonight, but it would be incredible if he made the 18. Since the team is fond of only using two subs, it would be huge for Beltran to see some minutes late in the game. That might be rushing him back, but Beltran is a fan favorite and he’s earned the right to get a chance if he’s feeling up for it.

Injury Report

OUT:

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

Onuoha (adductor; 7/3/19)

Johnson (quad; 7/3/19)

Predicted Lineup