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What we’re watching in LAFC vs. Real Salt Lake

RSL travels to LA to get some revenge.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Revenge of the 4th — or at least there were stars in sky, albeit fireworks, and certainly a war at Rio Tinto Stadium on the 3rd of July.

Now, less than two weeks later, the teams face off again. Will RSL get revenge the 1-0 defeat they were handed in Sandy? Here is what we are watching.

Defense

Toni Datković has joined the team and has been practicing this week. Will he take the field for the first time for RSL? Will the team feel the absence of Andrew Brody? Will Everton start as a defensive midfield and help lock the center down? Will Ochoa have a quality match? These are just some of the questions that RSL fans will be watching for answers. The team will be going up against fast and capable scorers for LAFC and the question is will RSL step up?

Scoring

I know I know, this is something we keep watching week after week. We know that Jonathan Menendez is with the team, but most likely will not play tomorrow. Where will he fit in? Who does he replace? Outside of penalty kicks, Albert Rusnak has not found the back of the net and has not really been a scoring threat. Damir Kreilach has continued to be the Swiss Army Knife of players, battling on defense and finding the back of the net 7 times to lead the team. Rubio Rubin (with an extension through 2025) and Anderson Julio have been dangerous at times but there is no consistency. Will Bobby Wood make his scoring debut?

Coaching

Alex Vejar of the Salt Lake Tribune has called Freddy Juarez a ‘grinder’. He is often praised for his love of the game and for really knowing a lot about tactics. With this being said, we would hope that coaching would be a strength for RSL. Of course we are going up against Bob Bradly and the LAFC and Bradly has won on every level. The last match, on July 3rd, saw RSL clearly get out-coached and not really have any answers to break down the LAFC defense. Will Juarez step up and will RSL ‘grind’ out a victory on the road?

Injury Report

OUT: Andrew Brody, Zack Farnsworth, Andrew Putna

Match details

  • Match: 2021 Regular Season Match #12
  • Weather: 75 degrees & partly cloudy
  • Ref: Robert Sibiga
  • Kits: The Supporters Secondary

Predicted Lineup