After three games at home, Real Salt Lake have hit the road to take on FC Dallas. The home side have started off with 1 win, 2 draws, and 2 losses in their 5 games. They’re averaging just 1 point per game and are only ahead of last place LAFC in the west on goal difference. While RSL have had their fair share of struggles, this could be a good opportunity for the team to pick up some road points against a western conference rival.
The team needs more from Rusnak
There’s no way around the fact that Rusnak has under preformed this season, and honestly 2020 as well. He played at the wing for the first 3 games of the season, where he provided very little. Against Nashville he was moved back to his preferred spot at the ten, but again did not do enough to justify his inclusion on the team. He took several corner kicks that he overhit so badly that the ball never found another player. With Damir at the ten, he’s able to provide service to Rubin. Kreilach has 1 goal and 3 assists, where Albert has none in either category.
It’s more than just the numbers. Rusnak is not passing the eye test. It doesn’t seem as though he’s advancing the ball or finding his teammates in dangerous attacking positions. It’s worth sitting Rusnak in this game to see what Dami can do at the ten with Meram and Julio on the wings, and Rubin at the nine. I don’t think that’s likely to happen, but Albert needs to either step up in this game or Freddy needs to sit him.
Silva and Herrera back in the mix
Defenders Marcelo Silva and Aaron Herrera have moved off the injury list for this game and could, in theory, be selected for the starting XI. While we have seen players move off the injury list and not start, these two offer so much that they’re inclusion seems very likely. Freddy may want to keep the backline the same after they earned their first clean sheet, but with Herrera being such a quality player it’s hard to not play him. Silva is given to one or two mistakes a game, but otherwise is a solid center back. Holt had a much improved game against Nashville so he could have an argument for inclusion.
What is most interesting is who gets dropped if Herrera starts. Andrew Brody has greatly impressed since first subbing in for Aaron’s injury. Toia has been fine, but not as impressive. We could see Toia dropped and Herrera and Brody as the outside backs in this game.
An away trip
RSL have had their share of troubles when away in Texas.f Two blowouts under Mike Petke come to mind. Texas is a tough place to play, even early season. The team’s last two games weren’t exactly impressive, even if both had good moments. The question around this game is if RSL can bounce back after getting one point from their last two games. This Dallas team could be ripe for an RSL win, but we need to see the best part of last weekend’s game pair with what worked in RSL’s first two games. RSL currently sit in 7th in the west, so they’ll need to pickup points on the road if they want to stay above the playoff line.
Out: Everton Luiz