Real Salt Lake Will Report To Facility On Tuesday Despite Uncertain MLS Future
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will return to their practice facility on Tuesday to undergo COVID-19 tests before hopefully returning to the training pitch on Wednesday, despite the 2020 future of Major League Soccer still uncertain.
After gaining four regular-season points during the group stage matches in the MLS Is Back tournament, RSL currently sits in 9th place in the Western Conference with 6 points, 6 points behind conference leaders Sporting Kansas City.
No More Pre-Season’s
The players and coaches do not want to have to go through yet another impromptu pre-season, much like they experienced prior to the tournament. The idea is for RSL to get back on the training pitch with the assumption that the league will find a way to put a season together, albeit inevitably a shorter one.
“The players and coaches do not want to have to do another pre-season again,” Juarez said. “We will get back to the facility tomorrow (Tuesday, August 4th) and test everyone with the hope that we can train for the first time on Wednesday.”
RSL returned home following a Round of 16 loss in the MLS Is Back tournament against San Jose Earthquakes. Throughout the tournament, RSL showcased their identity under newly appointed head coach Freddy Juarez, they control the ball and attempt to wear down their opponents by keeping them chasing.
More Attacking Opportunities
However, the area in which RSL must improve is their ability to create more attacking opportunities.
“We have to get better and getting in and behind the backline,” Juarez said. “To create better-attacking opportunities we need to be able to push the backline further back.”
Douglas Martinez Jr. has impressed Juarez this season, the Honduran international has been the starting striker over the likes of Sam Johnson and Giuseppe Rossi in large because of his ability to pressure opposing defenders with his unique and diverse skillset.
Martinez has speed despite standing at 6 feet tall, his height also makes him a dangerous threat in the air. His weakness lies when his back is turned to goal, Juarez admitted a few weeks ago.
Nonetheless, Juarez has options at every position on the field, something very few MLS coaches can claim.
RSL will look to utilize the time before their next regular-season game to work on the finer areas of their game.
Tom Hackett is a Utah and Real Salt Lake Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the It’s Utah’s World Podcast (Utah Football themed) and The Lion’s Den Podcast (Real Salt Lake themed). Follow him on Twitter: @TomCantHackett.