With the close of the transfer window, Real Salt Lake have added some depth to their squad, but the three new players will not be available tonight. LAFC on the other hand, have taken their team up another level with the signing of Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini (plus Denis Bouanga and Sebastian Mendez). This will be RSL’s toughest challenge to date, and a second home loss for Real could be a possibility if they’re not at their best against the juggernaut that is LAFC.
RSL’s backline is one of their greatest strengths. Marcelo Silva wearing the captain’s armband this season has taken his game up a notch, and his partnership with Glad is solid. Despite a poor giveaway that led to San Jose’s second goal last weekend, MacMath has remained good. Success has to be found in the midfield. LAFC’s attack is no joke and the backline needs support from the whole team.
We should see Andrew Brody at left back with Justin Meram at left wing, and Aaron Herrera at right back with Jefferson Savarino on the right wing. I’m interested to watch how each side connects on the offensive and defensive side. I’m also curious to see how each side compare to the other. Savarino has been RSL’s best attacking player since joining the team, but he’s often left looking for someone to receive the ball. If Cordova can’t be that guy, who is able to be the final piece in how RSL works the ball up the field?
Fighting to keep their spot
RSL signed left back Bryan Oviedo, central midfielder Braian Ojeda, and center forward Danny Musovski this transfer window. None of those players will be in the 18 today, but all three should be fighting for a starting spot in RSL’s XI, and that means the current starting XI need to prove why they should keep their place. Brody and Cordova will feel this pressure most, as I suspect Ruiz and Löffelsend are in Pablo’s plans until Ojeda really impresses.
RSL player availability
Out: Kreilach (back), Wood (abductor), Schmitt (knee) Musovski (hamstring)
Questionable: Holt (abductor), Hidalgo (hamstrong)
Pending visas: Ojeda, Oviedo
With Monarchs: Dewsnup, Garcia, Beavers, Benitez, Wellings, Kei, Orozco