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What we’re watching in Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy

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RSL are hosting their third home match and desperately need a win

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Real Salt Lake are coming off of two home losses as they take on LA Galaxy. The Galaxy have seen a loss and a draw in their last two games, but are just above the playoff line in 8th place on 15 points. RSL is way down in 11th place but are only one point behind the Galaxy. If RSL want to keep their playoff hopes alive, home games like these are key.

Depth

The depth of RSL’s team is under question. Many around the org have touted this team as one with a great deal of depth, but the results aren’t reflecting that.

Freddy Juarez’s substitution patterns don’t signal that he believes in bench. He only used three of the five substitutes available to him in the last game. Two of those came after the 90th minute. Against Colorado, he used four of of five subs. There are options for this team. There are a good number of wingers that could see more rotation. And when Rossi is healthy, he needs to be seeing some minutes, though his injury woes seem to be far from over. Sam Johnson, who was an early sub in the first half against the Rapids, was absent from the 18 against Vancouver without reason.

In the defense, Glad and Onuoha are the best center back pairing the team have. Brining on Silva is a half step down in quality, and Holt is a full step down below Justen and Ned. Despite Silva being on a higher salary, he’s probably not quite worth the cost even if he is a skillful player. Other defensive options like Alvin Jones and Ashtone Morgan seem to have disappeared entirely.

The overall question here is where is the depth and what, if anything, can they do to elevate Real Salt Lake?

Must win

Real Salt Lake have not lost three home games in a row since 2005. Those were dark times. RSL took a mere 20 points from 32 games, and 22 of those were losses (the team’s best season was 2012 with 57 points, but that was in a 34 game season).

RSL cannot afford to have three losses in a row. If they want to make the playoffs, they need to improve now. Beating the Galaxy means they would leap-frog LA and could finish the night above the playoff line, should other results go their way. Aside from playoff hopes, this team needs to be better than multiple home losses.

Injury Report

Not medically cleared to play: Giuseppe Rossi

Suspended: Kyle Beckerman (red card)

Predicted Lineup