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What we’re watching in Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy

RSL are back at the RioT and hosting the Galaxy

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

There’s a lot of hype around Real Salt Lake right now with the signing of Anderson Julio and Atlético Mineiro announcing that they have sold Jefferson Savarino to RSL (though RSL have not yet announced the move). But neither of those players will feature in this game, and RSL are still coming out of a tough stretch last week. They take on a strong LA Galaxy team today. RSL are winless in their last five league games but will hope to improve their record at home.

Cordova, Rubin, and Wood

One area of concern right now are the forwards. Cordova and Wood have seen significant time at the striker spot, with Rubin starting to see more minutes as he recovers from injury. The problem is they’re simply not scoring enough. Wood, for example, had no shots in his 80 minutes against the Timbers last weekend. An argument can be made that they need better service, but Cordova seems afraid to shoot, despite finding himself in good space. With Julio and Sava coming it, that may light a fire under some of the current attackers.

Midfield struggles

Much like last season, RSL are starting this year with an ineffective midfield. The team has relied on long balls or going up the wings to provide service to the forwards and it’s not working particularly well. After Rusnak’s departure, the team needed another player in the midfield who could help create, or at least hold onto the ball, in the middle and we never got that. The team very much needs a defensive midfielder to help anchor the middle. Right now we’re seeing Everton, Ruiz, and Caldwell. Perhaps the pieces are all there to have an effective midfield, but currently the midfield is getting cut up when defending and bypassed when attacking.

An improved backline

RSL’s backline is their biggest strength right now. Justen Glad and Aaron Herrera are back in the starting XI. Marcelo Silva is playing some of the best soccer we’ve seen from him. Andrew Brody is back on the left, where he’s showing his defensive quality over Schmitt. The Galaxy have only scored 10 goals this season, so the team has a real chance at minimizing their attacking damage.

Injury report

Out: Zack Farnsworth (right ankle), Bret Halsey (ankle), Erik Holt (left foot), Johan Kappelhof (left calf), Jonathan Menendez (adductor)

Questionable: Damir Kreilach (back)