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What we’re watching in New England Revolution vs. Real Salt Lake

RSL head to New England to take on the reigning Supporters Shield team

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Real Salt Lake head to New England with one draw and one win thus far in the season. Interestingly, the Revolution have the same record and both teams sit on 4 points. The Revs are a good team, having won the Supporters Shield in 2021. It’ll be a touch challenge for RSL’s first east coast trip for the year, but New England are in the midst of their Champions League run so they’re on much less rest than Real.

The keepers

RSL’s no.1 in David Ochoa has been on the injury report since going down in the last preseason match. He’s been upgraded to questionable, which is an improvement, but it seems unlikely he plays. That means MacMath would step into goal, but he has also been added to the injury list. He’s listed as questionable with a left leg issue.

Enter team newcomer Tomas Gomez . Gomez was signed to RSL last month, coming from Sacramento Republic FC, where he played under former Real Monarchs coach Mark Briggs. Gomez is 28 and has had a good bit of experience at the USL level, but has never played in Major League Soccer. He’s been on the bench for RSL’s first two games, so he’s the natural third string at this point. Gavin Beavers and Jeff Dewsnup both appear to be injured. The real question here is who is on the bench for this game?

Controlling the middle

For a few seasons, RSL have struggled down the spine. Traditionally that has been a strength of the team, thinking back to Rimando, Beckerman, Javi, etc. but the team been more reliant on the wings the past few seasons. With the addition of Scott Caldwell and the re-signing of Everton Luiz, the team is in good, albeit not great, shape. Much of the team’s performance dependent on how Pablo Ruiz preforms. Ruiz has a high ceiling, but is inconstant. I’m curious to see how his relationship with Caldwell impacts this game.

Goal scorers and finishing

Against Seattle, RSL increased their shots from 10 to 16, and shots on goal from 2 to 6 over their first game of the season. Real looked much more dangerous and probably should have had a few more goals against the Sounders. Bobby Wood looked much more dangerous, which is easy to say when a player gets the game-winning goal, but he was more involved than against the Dynamo. If Dami is still out, it means more will rest on Wood’s shoulders. There are a few open questions in the attack, such as why Menendez isn’t playing, and can Ruiz put a shot on frame.

Injury report

Out: Farnsworth (left ankle), Besler (nose), Halsey (right ankle)

Questionable: Kreilach (left calf), Herrera (right quad), MacMath (left leg), Ochoa (Right quad), Rubin (left groin)