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What we’re watching in Real Salt Lake vs. St. Louis City

RSL face St. Louis for the second time this season

What we’re watching in Real Salt Lake vs. St. Louis City
Lucas Muller | Wasatch Soccer Sentinel

Real Salt Lake are coming off a good win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, despite having a depleted squad in that game. On Saturday, they’ll host one of the few teams they’ve already played this year: St. Louis City. While St. Louis have yet to lose this year, they have one win, with the rest of their four other games all being draws.

Trouble at home

It’s early in the season, but RSL were one of the worst teams at home in 2023, and with a win and a loss in their two home games, it’s shaping up to be similar in 2024. The win against LAFC was a surprise, and the weather was certainly factor, but the loss to the Rapids was also a surprise. The team’s mentality of underdogs just crumbles at home, especially against teams they should beat (i.e. Colorado). With St. Louis still a good team, despite not living up to their 2023 standard as of yet, RSL somehow feels in a better position for a win knowing they’re facing the 2023 western conference leaders.

The revelation of Barajas

RSL newcomer and 17-year-old Fidel Barajas had an outstanding game in his first start for the club last weekend. He notched two assists to help RSL overcome a 1-0 deficit to win on the road. However, he, along side Justen Glad and Alexandros Katranis (who also started against the Whitecaps), are all listed as questionable in this week’s injury report. With the return of other players, he may see minutes as a sub if at all. Once he’s fully healthy again, he’s certainly on to watch closely.

Returns

Diego Luna and Gavin Beavers both returned from US international duty with the Olympic team, while Andres Gomez returns from the Colombian national team. Luna and Gomez should slot into their spots on the wings, and with Matt Crooks healthy again, that frees Chicho up to return to his preferred position at center forward. We’re likely to see a full strength RSL attack in this game.

Injury report

Out: Bonilla (knee injury), Ruiz (knee injury)

Questionable: Glad (adductor strain), Katranis (foot contusion), Barajas (knee contusion)

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