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What we’re watching in Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes

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RSL host an in-form San Jose

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Both Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes have looked better than expected at the start of the 2021 season. While the Quakes have suffered one loss, RSL has a game in hand but San Jose is ahead on goal different. The young Cade Cowell has been incredible for the Goonies, but RSL’s new attackers have impressed as well. This is set to be an exciting match this Friday evening.

Attacking threat

RSL have had three goal scorers across two games get five goals. Two braces isn’t bad, and assists from Rubio, Julio, Kreilach, and Brody is a good sign. It points to the attack connecting well with one another. Does their third game prove they’re growing as a unit, or were we too hyped after two wins and they won’t be able to break down San Jose?

Player shuffle

Over the past several years we’ve seen some odd choices in regards to player positions. The biggest examples are Brooks Lennon at right back, Ruiz as an outside back, and Besler as a center back. It seems as though the club swung too hard to other way and we saw perhaps too much rigidity with where players would line up. With Everton out for at least a few weeks (likely a bit longer), and Herrera leaving the last game early, do we seem some change in who can play in those different spots?

Defence

The backline is the biggest question mark around this team. Justen Glad and Aaron Herrera are good defenders, but it feels like Silva and Toia are a step down even if they are serviceable. If any of those four go down, there’s some big questions that have to be answered, especially around the center back position. Marcelo always flirts with a card at some point in every game. Brody had an extremely good showing against SKC, but who can step up outside him if there is a need?

Injury report

Out: Everton Luiz

Predicted lineup