Real Salt Lake Travels West For Battle With LAFC
SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake travels to Banc of California Stadium this Sunday evening for a brutal clash against conference leaders LAFC.
The fixture will mark the third game for RSL in just eight days following a road draw against FC Dallas and an emphatic 3-0 victory at home midweek against a depleted Minnesota United.
— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) September 1, 2022
For LAFC, they too will be playing their third game in just over a week following defeats on the road against Austin and Houston. LAFC have lost their previous three fixtures, all of which have come on the road, and are now tied on points in the Supporter Shield race with Eastern Conference foe Philadelphia Union.
However, LAFC has a game in hand on the Union and will be looking to reassert themselves atop the league this Sunday against RSL.
Wholesale Changes Incoming
Unfortunately, Real Salt Lake will be without two key players due to yellow card accumulation. Both Justen Glad and Jasper Löffelsend will serve one-match suspensions against LAFC after they both received a first-half yellow card against Minnesota United.
Furthermore, midfielder Pablo Ruiz was not present in the starting XI or on the bench for the Minnesota game due to an “accident”, according to manager Pablo Mastroeni. His status for the game against LAFC is doubtful, Mastroeni told the media following the Minnesota fixture.
Therefore, wholesale changes are likely ahead of the LAFC fixture. Diego Luna, Nick Besler, and Scott Caldwell are the three most likely candidates to replace Löffelsend and Ruiz.
Andrew Brody is another player who has seen a lot of minutes in 2022. Brody has started 27 from a possible 28 games and has amassed 2427 minutes in 2022.
It is possible that Mastroeni follows in the footsteps of Adrian Heath and Minnesota United and provides rest to certain players that have not had that luxury as of late.
LAFC Desperate For Win
Nevertheless, LAFC will not be providing rest to its players. LAFC, as mentioned above, has lost its previous three games and will be looking to rebound with a victory against RSL at home.
"The proper response after losses is to put your head down and keep working on your deficiencies."
— LAFC (@LAFC) September 1, 2022
Both RSL and LAFC met on August 6 when LAFC defeated RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium 4-1 in a dominant display. During that fixture, LAFC made the most of their opportunities while RSL was wasteful. That night is remembered best for the Gareth Bale run and goal late in the game.
Real Salt Lake has improved since the last meeting a month ago. Sergio Córdova has scored in four of the last five games, Anderson Julio has scored in consecutive games, and Jefferson Savarino has continued to look dangerous alongside Córdova at the point of the attack.
It appears as though that RSL is peaking at the appropriate time and key players are starting to find form.
Real Salt Lake and ALFC will kick off from Banc of California Stadium at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 4.
Real Salt Lake Scoreboard
Real Salt Lake Team Leaders
Real Salt Lake Standings