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What we’re watching in Nashville SC vs Real Salt Lake

RSL travel to Music City as Nashville play their second game at GEODIS Park

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Real Salt Lake are coming off an important win at home and the close of an exciting transfer window. Nashville opened their home stadium, GEODIS Park, last weekend with a draw against a very good Philadelphia Union. Nashville are below the playoff line in 9th place in the west with 12 points. RSL are in a respectable 5th place with 16 points. RSL defeated Nashville on March 19th in a 2-1 victory.

Goals from the forwards

It’s been three games without any goals from the attackers, and that’s concerning. Granted, RSL has reinforcements coming in the form of Anderson Julio, who traveled for this game, and Jefferson Savarino. With Damir and Cordova both listed as questionable on the injury report, we’re likely to see either Wood or Rubin up top. The team seems to lack creative ideas right now. Maybe Sava can provide some whenever he arrives, but the team needs to do more than run it up the wings and cut back or play it over the top in order to find success. How can the center forwards get better service from their teammates?

Anderson

The first of RSL’s reinforcements arrived in Salt Lake this week, and the team is in need of a new spark. Anderson Julio was incredible coming off the bench for RSL in 2021, but always struggled when he started. He almost certainly won’t start tonight, but he may sub in. Julio hasn’t played a competitive game since the Western Conference Final in the 2021 postseason. He will be rusty, but he looked enthusiastic in training on Saturday.

Possession

RSL has struggled to maintain possession, and it’s indicative of the style of soccer they’re playing. They have yet to have the majority of possession in any game they’ve played this season. Against the LA Galaxy, RSL had the ball just 35.8% of the time. It’s worked to a degree, That low percentage is due, in part, to RSL’s tendency to play long ball in hopes of connecting with a forward. It hasn’t worked particularly well, and RSL needs to start controlling the ball in the midfield to win possession.

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), Sergio Cordova (right knee contusion)