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What we’re watching in Minnesota United vs Real Salt Lake

RSL are back on the road to face the Loons

What we’re watching in Minnesota United vs Real Salt Lake
Lucas Muller | Wasatch Soccer Sentinel

Real Salt Lake are coming off an exciting 3-1 win over St. Louis City, where Chicho Arango scored his first had trick for the team to overcome a 1-0 deficit. Minnesota United have just suffered their first defeat of the season, in a 2-0 loss at the Philadelphia Union. Both teams are level on 10 points, but RSL sit in 3rd and MUNFC are 4th in the west.

Chicho

Cristian Arango has been the exact player RSL have needed for years. Last weekend showed how we can be the difference-maker for the team. He netted his first hat trick and rocketed himself to the top of the MLS goal contributions for season (5 goals, 4 assists), scoring and assisting in more goals than any other player in the league. His quality outside of pure goal scoring is often overlooked. His passing is excellent and he’s helped the rest of the attack create space.

Midfield life without Ruiz

The midfield has been a pleasant surprise in 2024, especially after Pablo Ruiz went down with a season ending injury recently. Emeka Eneli has largely moved from the right back spot to the midfield, and it seems to be a better fit for his skillset. Eneli has been very good for the team and shows that you can still find valuable players in the draft. Braian Ojeda is growing into the player the team needs. Honestly the biggest question in this midfield setup is where is Nelson Palacio? He a U22 Initiative player and takes an international slot. The team spent a good amount to bring him in, but he can’t even get more than a few minutes as a sub lately.

Ins, outs, and implications

RSL’s center back depth has been a little thin for a few seasons, and Marcelo Silva out for four to six months is a massive hit. Fourth string CB Erik Holt is also listed as out on this week’s injury report, with a hamstring issue. If Glad and Vera go down with an injury, things are going to get very interesting.

Katranis is listed as questionable, and if he’s out, Oviedo could take his spot, or we might see Brody at left back and Hidalgo at RB.

On the plus side, Fidel Barajas is no longer listed as injured and should feature in this game, likely as a sub. Gomez and Luna are taking command of the wings, Chicho is free to play at the 9, Crooks at the 10, and the attack is in full swing.

Player availability

Out: Bonilla (knee), Ruiz (knee), Silva (hamstring), Holt (hamstring)

Questionable: Katranis (foot contusion)

Predicted lineup

Screenshot 2024-04-06 at 8.35.55 AM.png

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