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What we’re watching in Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake

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RSL start an away-heavy stretch of the season with a stop in Houston

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

The Houston Dynamo are winless in their last 8 games, and Real Salt Lake are undefeated in their last 6 games against Houston. Despite those numbers, which clearly favor RSL, the Dynamo are only 3 points behind RSL in the standings. Real are coming off a run of home games and now play away for many of their games over the next few months. If they want to stay above the playoff line, they need to win games like this.

Attacking pieces

Bobby Wood started and scored against the Colorado Rapids last weekend. Freddy giving him the nod to start was exactly what Wood needed to help control that game. He scored his first goal for RSL and, overall, it was a good night for Bobby and RSL. He was subbed early in the second half for Rubio Rubin in the 55th minute. Rubio would go on to score in the 76th minute of the game. If we’re not going to see Wood and Rubin play together, which would be fascinating to see them both start, then that substitution pattern was perfect for those two forwards. Both were given considerable minutes, allowing them time to integrate into the game and influence the outcome. The question for tonight is if they’ll start together or if we’ll them each given similar time on the field against Houston.

Jonny Menendez made his debut with the team last weekend. He looked good and it’s exciting to think of the depth RSL have on the wings now.

Did last week’s game mark a change for RSL?

RSL haven’t been great this season, but they also haven’t been terrible. We all knew this would be a strange year given the ownership situation, but the front office have managed to bring in some exciting players in Wood, Rubin, Datkovic, and Menendez. Those signing will allow them to improve over the last few years. But the recent results have been mixed. RSL have won 2 of their last 4 games, but 1 of those was a loss to LAFC and the other a very disappointing draw with the Galaxy. Their most recent result was a good performance against the Rapids, so that begs the question if that was a one time result or if it marks an improvement in performance.

Baird

One additional note here is that former RSL player Corey Baird recently moved from LAFC to the Dynamo. It’s unlikely he’ll play tonight because of how recent that transferred was, but there’s always a chance we could see him suit up against RSL with his new team.

Injury report

Out: Zack Farnsworth, Andrew Brody, and Toni Datkovic

Predicted lineup