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What we’re watching in Real Salt Lake vs Toronto FC

With injuries still a factor RSL gets a needed home game

SOCCER: NOV 28 MLS Cup Playoffs - Real Salt Lake at Sporting Kansas City Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After a very well coached and played match in Colorado last weekend, RSL returns to the RioT to continue winning ways against a Toronto side that is now coached by Bob Bradly. There isn’t a lot of good news on the injury front, and at 2-1-2 Toronto looks to pick up their 3 win of the season and only 2nd win all time in Utah.

Injuries

Let’s look at this first, since it has featured prominently all season. The players making the list this week are:

Out: Zack Farnsworth (right ankle), Justen Glad (Hamstring), Bret Halsey (ankle), Erik Holt (left foot), Johan Kappelhof (left calf), Jonathan Menedez (abductor)

Questionable: Nick Besler (nose), Aaron Herrera (left calf), Jasper Loffelsend (hamstring), David Ochoa (right quad), Bobby Wood (hamstring).

RSL will also be without Jeff Dewsnup, Gavin Beavers, Julio Benitez, Jude Wellings, and Axel Kei as they are with Real Monarchs.

And that looks pretty bleak. Some light on the horizon, first, Bobby Wood, Aaron Herrera, David Ochoa, Nick Besler, and Jasper Loffelsend are now listed as ‘questionable’. Jaziel Orozco has been fantastic and head coach Pablo Mastroni seems to keep getting great performances out of different lineups. Damir Kreilach will most likely start, and that will bolster the lineup as well with leadership on the field.

Coaching

We know Bob Bradly knows how to coach. He has had successful stints with LAFC, the US men’s national team, and abroad. Pablo Mastroeni has done a great job this season, and a lot of pressure is on to keep up the tactical work. We will be watching to see how the team keeps it’s shape (hint: it is better when Everton Luiz is not on the field) and whether or not the game plan can tactically break down a tough Reds side.

Goals

Arguably, we have not had out starting 11 on the field once this season together, Having said that, we need to score goals. We have scored 7 in 6 matches. This has worked to pick up 11 points because our defense has been stingy. This isn’t viable for the whole season. We need to score goals. Yes, we lost Alber Rusnak, and no, we haven’t had Damir Kreilach on the pitch as much, and yet, we need to score.

We will be watching if we can score off the chances that are created. We have been creating chances, and we have all seen more than one player frustrated with themselves after missing a chance they should have put away. We need to find a way to consistently score.

Lineups

While we invoked the hardship rule last week and had some players we called up for support, we also saw some firsts. Look for more lineup shuffling when it comes to substitutions and patterns.

Projected Lineup