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Scouting Report: Real Salt Lake vs. Minnesota United FC

A month later, what has changed?

MLS: FC Dallas at Minnesota United FC David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Well, a month later, and RSL takes on Minnesota United FC again. The last meeting had RSL ranked dead last in MLS (more or less) and they ended up walking away victorious thanks to a brace from Anderson Julio. Now the teams match up again, tied for 14th in the league with Minnesota with a 2-0-4 record and RSL with a 2-2-1 record.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Minnesota United FC Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota has not won a match at Rio Tinto Stadium, and RSL will try to keep that record intact. So, what will be different this time around? First, Minnesota has their keeper Tyler Miller back. He had season ended surgery in 2020, and he is now back playing and has already recorded a couple of clean sheets.

Minnesota likes to take shots. A lot of shots. They are neck and neck with Sporting KC for the most shots this season. RSL didn’t even record an on-frame shot in the tie with Nashville, and once again, Andrew Putna or Zac MacMath will be asked to really step up in this match if they continue to shoot at the pace that they do.

Since their meeting in April, Minnesota have added a couple of players, Adrien Hunou who plays forward and Franco Fragapane in the midfield, and they will both be available for the match. Both of these players can bring a lot to the attack and are quality players, but we have not seen them play for the Loons, so it is hard to judge how they will integrate with the team.

Robin Lod has quietly been having a great season, and he will be dangerous on attack. Also, look at Emanuel Reynoso who has been giving quality service and is creating chances for the Loons. Add in Bakaye Dibassy coming back from injury on defense and this will not be the same team that RSL faced before.

This season the Loons have favored a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 formation and since they have done both more than once, it is likely they will pick one of these formations for the match. Look for Minnesota to come up and press much of the match. They will be hungry after losing to RSL earlier in the season. They will also try to exploit RSL’s backline which has been shaky at times this season. D Traditionally Minnesota has scored most of their goals against RSL in the second half, tonight they will look to reverse that trend.