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What we’re watching in Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders

RSL are back at home as they welcome a few familiar faces to Utah

What we’re watching in Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders
Lucas Muller | Wasatch Soccer Sentinel

Real Salt Lake are coming off a disappointing pair of road games. They lost to New Mexico United in the US Open Cup, then gave up two second half goals against the LA Galaxy in league play to draw on the road. They’re still on top of the western conference, but with Minnesota United (who have two games in hand) and the Galaxy both two points behind, RSL needs to pick up a home win over a beatable Sounders team. This will be Danny Musovski's first trip back to Utah after leaving the team, and we're likely to see Albert Rusnak and Freddy Juarez around as well.

Outside back issues

After finally getting over the hurdle of several center backs out (well, Holt and Silva are still out), the team now has three outside backs on the injury report. Hidalgo, Katranis, and Oviedo are all listed as questionable on this week’s report. That leaves Andrew Brody to start on the right, and someone else will need to be on the left. We could see Emeka Eneli play right back with Brody on the left, but he’s been so good in the midfield, and Palacio so poor, that it makes more sense to either risk Oviedo or give Tommy Silva the start. Either way, it’s going to be a big ask.

The depth question

If we’ve learned anything from the last week, it’s that RSL’s starting XI are among the best in the league, but there is a significant drop-off with many of the depth options (not you, Barajas). Nelson Palacio, who should be a starter if price is any indication, has been very poor in RSL’s last two games. Quinton and T Silva have struggled. Even Anderson Julio has been largely ineffective. If RSL wants to stay at the top of the west, we need to see more from the bench.

Keepers

Gavin Beavers and Zac MacMath have both had rough games over the last week. Against New Mexico, Beavers should have done better with some of the shots from distance, though his backline didn’t do him any favors. In the team’s most recent outing against the Galaxy, MacMath had a strong first half, and could have done better on LA’s first goal, and should have done better on their second. Both are good keepers, but will certainly be a focal point in this game.

Injury report

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

Questionable: Hidalgo (hamstring injury suffered 5/11/24), Katranis (adductor injury suffered 5/11/24), Oviedo (calf)

Predicted lineup

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