Real Salt Lake Ready, Excited To Embark On Crucial Three Game Stretch
SALT LAKE CITY – In a perfect world with just eight league games left in the regular season Real Salt Lake would begin to grant certain players rest ahead of the MLS Cup playoffs, but unfortunately, the club does not have that luxury.
Rather, the club remains in a vulnerable position where a few poor results could leave the club on the outside of the playoff line at the pointy end of the season. Therefore, Real Salt Lake must play like every game from here on out is a playoff fixture.
Every Game Is A Playoff Game
“I think we are at the time in the season where there really is no home field advantage,” Mastroeni told KSL Sports following training on Tuesday, August 23. “I think the home teams feel a lot of pressure to try and get the three points and visiting teams are coming in and playing as if they are at home.”
“The next two games are against teams that are floating right around us on the table so I do not think that this is a time where you can, you play the first game full go, you see how the guys recover and you go full again on Wednesday and then you decide what happens for Sunday given the condition of everyone else but I do not think that this is a game where you start thinking about tomorrow. It is this game, this is the most important game that we have so we are going to go for it, we do not have any other choice.”
New content from The RSL Show! Watch now to get the latest @realsaltlake insight from Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) August 23, 2022
Jasper Löffelsend Enters Grueling End To Rookie Campaign
Jasper Löffelsend for example is in the midst of his rookie season, has played in 23 from a possible 26 games, and could really do with a game off to ensure his legs remain strong entering the postseason. But Löffelsend will likely not be provided the rest necessarily. Rather, he will continue to play a pivotal role for the club as they continue to fight for a playoff position.
The next two games in particular, on the road against FC Dallas and a home midweek encounter against Minnesota, will likely prove pivotal in Real Salt Lake’s quest.
The Western Conference Standings
Currently, Real Salt Lake sits in the fifth position in the Western Conference four points shy of FC Dallas and three points shy of Minnesota United. Consecutive victories would catapult Real Salt Lake up the standings and provide a welcomed separation from the rest of the chasing pack.
The Western Conference is tightly contested as just nine points separate the 11th placed Colorado Rapids and the 3rd placed FC Dallas.
Following the game against Minnesota on Wednesday, August 31, the team will play again on the road against league leaders LAFC the following Sunday. The next occurrence in which Real Salt Lake will have a week to recover and prepare for its next opponent occurs following the LAFC fixture.
The next three games will be integral for Real Salt Lake.
Real Salt Lake Scoreboard
Real Salt Lake Team Leaders
Real Salt Lake Standings