RSL Expected To Field Young Lineup For U.S. Open Match Against LAFC
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake is preparing to host the Los Angeles Football Club this Tuesday evening in the fourth round of the U.S Open Lamar Hunt Cup.
The eventual winner of the US Open Cup gets an automatic bid into the CONCACAF Champions League. Last season, Mike Petke opted for a young Starting XI against Sporting Kansas City and lost 2-0 thanks to goals from Johnny Russell in the 47th minute and Kharlton Belmar in the 74th minute..
It will be interesting to see the changes to the lineup for this game. History tells us that Mike Petke will, more than likely, call up a number of players from the Real Monarchs and play guys that do not usually get as much time on the pitch.
Brooks Lennon, Joao Plata, Nick Besler, Erik Holt, Jack Black, Kyle Coffee and Tate Schmitt are all names that should expect to see time in the lineup for Tuesday night’s encounter.
Head coach Bob Bradley’s men sit comfortably on the top of the Major League Soccer standings. With 37 points in 16 matches, LAFC holds a six point lead over second ranked Philadelphia Union.
However, questions surrounding the LAFC lineup continue to grow, as Bradley will be without a number of key players for the match with RSL.
Midfielders Mark-Anthony Kaye and Peter Vassell, center back Walker Zimmerman and goalkeeper Tyler Miller are all unavailable due to international duties. Miller has started every game for LAFC this season, his absence means that Pablo Sisniega, the 23 year old back up goalkeeper will get his first start of the season at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Giving their standings atop the MLS, being at full strength coming back to MLS play after Tuesday’s match and once the international break is over is of paramount importance for Bradley and LAFC.
Carlos Vela has, once again, rejected his call up to play with the Mexican national team, known as El Tri, and will be available to play against RSL.
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake will also be without a number of key players for the meeting with LAFC. Jefferson Savarino is currently with the Venezuelan National Team competing at the Copa America, while Albert Rusnak is playing for his home country of Slovakia.
Savarino started in Venezuela’s friendly against the USMNT on Sunday and scored a goal in his team’s 3-0 upset win over the United States.
Petke will more than likely change the lineup and play youngsters who are deserving of an opportunity. The head coach has not taken the U.S. Open cup seriously over the last few years as his main priority and focus has been on MLS games.
It does not help that as of late, the U.S. Open games have been wedged in between a pair of MLS games, last season for example the U.S. Open match against Sporting Kansas City was played midweek with MLS games happening just days before and after. This year is different, the U.S. Open is being played during an international break, giving players more time off to rest and potentially play in the U.S. Open Cup.
All eyes will be on Petke and his lineup decisions on Tuesday evening as he prepares his men for a potential U.S. Open run.
The match against LAFC will kick off Tuesday at 8 p.m. and be broadcast on ESPN+.
KSLSports.com, in collaboration with Real Salt Lake, has launched a new podcast, The RSL Lion’s Den. It is the official Real Salt Lake podcast for all club news and updates. KSL Sports analysts Tom Hackett and Spencer Warne, along with RSL PR director Matt Gashck break down the games and discuss important club matters.
To listen to The Lion’s Den, click here. It is available on iTunes, Google Play or wherever podcasts are found. Please rate and subscribe to The Lion’s Den for all things Real Salt Lake.
Head coach Mike Petke and TV analyst Brian Dunseth have launched their own podcast titled Off The Chest. The duo discuss all matters of the world’s game in a entertaining and informative podcast that will be sure bring the laughs.
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