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What we’re watching in Real Salt Lake vs. Columbus Crew

RSL hosts the Crew in their second home game in a row

Justen Glad and Marcelo Silva embrace after Silva’s goal against the Earthquakes.
Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Real Salt Lake are in a good position after beating the Earthquakes last weekend. They’re second in the west (and in the Supporters Shield standings) but have played one more game than many teams in the league. In their last five games, they’ve won four and lost one, which is good work from Real. They face the Columbus Crew tonight. The Crew are 11th in the East and have one win, two draws, and two losses in their last five games.

No Bobby

Forward Bobby Wood underwent a successful surgery for his adductor this week, after being injured against San Jose on Saturday. That means Wood won’t be partnered with Cordova up top, and this is a chance for Pablo Mastroeni to change things up. We could simply see Rubio Rubin slot into Wood’s spot, or perhaps Anderson Julio will start. A change in formation is also possible, but without Krielach or Luna available, it seems unlikely. The bigger question here is what the team does over the next few months to replace Wood as he recovers.

Glad and Silva

Center backs Justen Glad and Marcelo Silva have been one of the best parts of RSL this season. Marcelo, who in years past, seemed to always make one bad decision per game, often with costly results. He’s has largely eliminated that tendency from his game this season. He’s not going forward on bizarre runs that leaves the backline open. Silva being given the captain’s armband was a surprised as first, but he’s done a fantastic job in the role. Glad has been solid as ever, and their partnership is the strongest RSL has seen in some time. It doesn’t hurt that they’ve allowed just four goals in the last five games, two of which were shutouts. It also doesn’t hurt that they’ve scored five goals between them this season.

Herrera’s return

Right back Aaron Herrera is set to return to the team after serving his red card suspension last weekend. What I’m curious to see here is how he and Jefferson Savarino connect on the right. I expect Sava to start, especially after the incredible performance he had against the Earthquakes. He displayed an ability to start, but more important an ability to absolutely crush another team. Herrera and Sava played together before Jefferson left for Brazil, whereas Brody and Sava did not, so seeing how well they understand each other and what that means for the team is worth watching. Herrera’s defense and ability to serve a ball into the box will be a welcome addition.

Injury report

Out: Farnsworth (right ankle), Halsey (ankle), Kreilach (back), Wood (abductor)

Questionable: None

International duty: Luna (U-20 US)

On assignment with the Monarchs: Dewsnup, Garcia, Bode “Davis” Hidalgo, Beavers, Benitez, Wellings, Kei, Kablan

Predicted lineup