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What we’re watching in Austin FC vs. Real Salt Lake

RSL finish their three-game week with a trip to Austin

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

As the season starts to wind down, Real Salt Lake have just seven games left to play in the 2021 regular season. This afternoon, they take on a struggling Austin FC. Anthony Precourt’s new team started play in the league this season and it has not been easy going for them as they’ve won just six games this season and are averaging 0.81 points per game. RSL bounced back from the Timbers loss with a win over the Galaxy, today is a chance for them to gain an important three points.

Luiz and Ruiz

Everton and Pablo were much improved against the Galaxy on Wednesday. While neither had a perfect game, together they were able to help control the midfield and keep RSL in the game. With three at the back, the defensive midfield role is needed to support the backline and if they can help keep Austin at bay, then RSL has a good chance for a win.

An abundance of wingers

RSL have an abundance of wingers, and the current formation is less winger dependent than the 4-2-3-1. After RSL’s win on Wednesday, Pablo Mastroeni told RSL Soapbox that Anderson Julio is in contention for a starting spot and they’re looking to balance good performances with continuity in the team. Jonathan Menéndez has seen just 27 minutes in the last three games, and he’s a player who can bring a spark to the attack. With Aaron Herrera pushed further up, that leaves just one spot for a winger. Who deserves that spot and how do you maximize all those attacking players?

David Ochoa

Young David Ochoa had a solid game on Wednesday, which shows a lot of resilience after a tough loss last weekend. He was calm and confident throughout the game and came up big several times to keep RSL in the game. The 20 year old keeper recently declared for the Mexico National Team and played well against two of that team’s legends in Jonathan dos Santos and Chicharito. He’s been a bright spot for RSL this season, especially after a season where no one could step in to replace Nick Rimando, and Ochoa keeps getting better.

Injury report

Out: Zack Farnsworth, Marcelo Silva

Predicted lineup