Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas are very close to one another in the western conference standings. RSL sit in the 7th and final playoff spot on 30 points with Dallas just above them on 32 points. This is a game with major playoff implications and if Real could find all three points in Dallas, that would be huge for their chances to stay above the line. The Dynamo are on 30 points, but behind RSL on goal difference, and the Timbers are on 28. If results go against Real this weekend, they could find themselves as low as 9th place in the standings. FCD has been very inconsistent this season but overall much better at home than away. Dallas has always been a tough place for RSL; their record there is 13 losses, 3 ties, and just a single win.
This game comes at the end of a very busy week for Real. They drew against Minnesota United last weekend, lost to Tirges in the Leagues Cup on Wednesday, and are now in Texas. There’s some good news though: there was a decent amount of rotation against the Liga MX side and right back Aaron Herrera did not play last weekend due to yellow card accumulation. With starters Rimando, Glad, Herrera, Luiz, Savarino, and Kreilach starting on Wednesday, we may see some fatigue in Texas. Granted, Luiz only went for one half and was replaced by Beckerman. Both are likely to start tonight. Rusnak did not play on Wednesday and head coach Mike Petke said he was held out as a precaution but it didn’t seem too serious. He was not listed in this weekend injury report (see below).
The question here is if RSL can come out with intensity and maintain that through a full game.
Jefferson Savarino has been incredible in recent weeks. The 22 year old Venezuelan winger has always been talented but we’re seeing some next level skill from him this season. His ball to Marcelo Silva last Saturday to deliver the equalizer was inch perfect and showed great awareness from the attacker. Silva’s finish, by the way, was incredible. You could see he knew exactly how he wanted to hit the ball and where he wanted it to go. It’s always fun to see a center back get a goal, and Jefferson’s vision made that possible.
There’s talk about Savarino leaving RSL for a bigger club. It would be sad to see him leave, but if RSL can be viewed as a team where talented young players can come, develop, and go to bigger clubs in Europe, that’s a great thing. Watch for what Jefferson does on and off the ball. It’s obvious he has incredible skill with the ball at this feet, but he’s doing so much more to weaken opposition defenses.
Allen (knee 6/16/17; Season
Johnson (quad; 7/3/19)
DF Nedum Onuoha (adductor; 7/3/19)